Pipeline Surfer Sion Milosky

Sion shepherds the kids off to school, Sunset-style. Photo: Ryan Foley

North Shore Underground

With each passing day, Sion Milosky’s name gets spoken a little louder and a bit more often in elite big-wave circles. Sion’s far from a grom -- in fact, he has two daughters of his own, plus a home and a business -- but the past two seasons have made this polite welder and family man from Kauai into an unlikely up-and-comer. Now he finds himself riding for Volcom and contending the inaugural Vans x SURFING North Shore Underground project.

At our request, Sion explains how he got here.

Sion Milosky:

I was born and raised on Kauai. I've been surfing all my life and even professionally longboarded for a while, and I've been coming to the North Shore for over 15 years. I've always had passion for surfing big waves, but about 10 years ago, I took a break to raise my kids on Kauai. Then I kept hearing how all my friends, the "Kauai boys," were making an impact on the North Shore, and it got me thinking how I really missed surfing Pipe. So five years ago my family and I decided to become full-time residents here on the North Shore and, here I am, working and surfing.

I kept hearing how all my friends, the "Kauai boys," were making an impact on the North Shore

About two years ago, [photographer] Daniel Russo got this great shot of me on one of my best waves ever at Pipe, and that's when I started gaining momentum. Thanks to [Dustin] Barca, Rico [Jimenez] and Ronnie [Blakey], Oakley started helping me. I qualified for the Pipe Masters and started gaining a lot of exposure, and it just so happened that same year we had some of the biggest, best swells in a long time, and paddle surfing made a huge comeback.

There were three particular swells that season: The first was the day before the Eddie; I surfed Waimea all day. The day of the Eddie, I couldn't just watch, so Evan Valiere told me about this outer reef where we met a few of the boys and had a little secret sesh.

When I saw swell No. 2 I noticed it had a better direction to surf that same outer reef. I had plans to meet [Mark] Healey and Nate [Fletcher] there in the morning, but it ended up arriving on Christmas Day. Luckily, my family is so understanding of my passion that we sped through opening presents and I ended up getting to the spot by 8 a.m. It was 20 to 25 feet with maybe larger sets -- the biggest, best barreling lefthander I ever saw.

The third swell, same spot, was another huge one -- but word was out about it now and a crew of guys showed up. There were occasional bombs and somehow I got one -- the biggest wave I ever paddled into by far, which ended up winning Evan's North Shore Big Wave Challenge.

After that I started looking around for more help so I could travel, and that's when Volcom stepped up. Now with Volcom, Oakley and Kona Red, I'm able to chase more swells and pursue my passion.

Thank God that there aren't good waves every day, 'cause I still have to run my business to survive. [Editor’s Note: Sion runs a custom driveway gate and welding company.] But with all the things that happened this year and with Volcom on my side, I'm super focused on pushing the sport of big-wave surfing.