Editor’s Note: Disruptors is a series that examines the most groundbreaking–and in some cases, heart-wrenching–moments in surf and outdoor history.
Date: March, 2011
Location: Mavericks, Half Moon, Bay, Calif.
Moment: On a spring evening six years ago, during a late-season swell at the famed big wave locale, Sion Milosky drowned following a two-wave hold down.
“There are guys that charge who are just absolute assholes. Sion, his game out of the water was ten times what it was in the water. I always viewed his relationship with his family as a model of how I would want to raise my own.”
For the working man, Sion Milosky was an unquestioned hero. A welder who built his business on Oahu, he lived mainly for two things: first and foremost, his family. The second was big surf. Near the end of his life, he roamed comfortably around iconic North Shore lineups like Pipeline, Himalayas, and Waimea Bay. Still, his wife and two children were always priority one. He was once asked in an interview what he would do if he had six months to live. “Spend time with the family,” he responded without hesitation.
His commitment to family never affected his surfing, though. The Kauai-born waterman was instinctually-gifted in waves of consequence. A former professional longboarder who essentially started riding big waves because he could stay close to home, Milosky was an underground innovator in both the tow and paddle-in movement. And the surfing media began to recognize his talent: he won $25 grand after he was named Surfing magazine’s Underground Charger of the Year in 2011, which he reportedly spent on that fateful trip to Half Moon Bay. Asked in that same interview what super power he would choose, he replied easily, “Eternal life.”
Milosky was 35 years old.
View a treasure-trove of Milosky tribute videos, here.