Last year SURFING magazine and Vans collaborated to bring you the North Shore Underground, a season-long event that highlighted some of Hawaii's best, underexposed talent. The clear standout among the stellar crew was Sion Milosky, a 36-year-old metalworker, husband and father. Sion seemed to be on the best waves of every swell at Pipeline, the Outer Reefs and Jaws, while still managing to run a business and take his daughters to school. He won the North Shore Underground after a unanimous vote, and he could not have been more appreciative. Then tragically, on his second trip to Maverick's in March 2011, Sion drowned while having one of the best sessions of his life.
To honor Sion and celebrate his life, SURFING and Vans are teaming up again, this time to present the first annual Milosky Mettle ("mettle" meaning courage and strength of character). The award will be given to the surfer who best embodies the legacy left by Sion — commitment to aloha, ohana, and surfing performance — during the 2011/2012 North Shore season. A panel of North Shore locals, industry leaders and the Milosky family* will decide the winner, who will be awarded $5,000** and a handcrafted medal.
While the season's biggest swells will be key factors in determining contenders for the award, history tells us to be on the lookout for guys like Kohl Christensen, Danilo Cuoto, Mike Pietsch and Ben Wilkinson. These guys work hard on land, treat people well and truly thrive when the ocean is big and wild.
Stay tuned to surfingmagazine.com for photos, videos and interviews with the contenders — whenever the North Pacific decides to wake from its slumber.
*Suzi Milosky, Sion's wife, is also holding a grassroots contest called the Steep and Deep Pipeline Photo Challenge, to reward the surfer and photographer that link up for the best wave of the winter at Pipe.
**A matching contribution will be made to the Sion Milosky Memorial Fund