RIP Sion Milosky

| posted on March 17, 2011

Sion Milosky will always be remembered as a legendary big-wave surfer. Photo: Glaser

Tragedy struck the surfing world on Wednesday when news broke that Sion Milosky, 35 of Kaleheo, Kauai, passed away while surfing Maverick’s in Northern California. According to a report by the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Sion had caught a handful waves before he took a two-wave hold-down and apparently drowned. The report went on to state that Nathan Fletcher found Sion’s body floating about a mile from the lineup.

Sion, who began his professional surfing career as a longboarder, rose to fame in recent years when he began paddling into some of the biggest waves ever recorded. Whether it was casually slipping into Second Reef Pipe or hucking himself over the ledge on the North Shore’s outer reefs, Sion was one of the most respected individuals in the big-wave surfing scene. As friendly as he was determined, Sion’s good-natured attitude made him a friend to all.

Having found a career as a professional surfer later in life, Sion spent many of his years working as a craftsman and building gates. Proud of his blue-collar background, Sion found solace knowing that he was able to provide for his wife and two daughters by working with his hands.

After gaining traction in the surf media in 2009, Sion’s career reached a crescendo this past winter when he graced the cover of three different surf magazines and was awarded $25,000 for winning Surfing Magazine’s North Shore Underground award.

With the momentum behind him, Sion began setting out to realize his dream of paddling into the biggest waves possible. “I’m planning on going even harder now,” Sion said in a recent interview. “I want to catch the biggest wave ever.”

Volcom has announced a fund that they have established to help his wife and two daughters in this most difficult time. All of the money collected will go straight to the Milosky family. Click here to donate.

On behalf of the entire SURFER staff, our hearts go out to Sion’s family and friends.

  • john

    wow. heavy

  • http://surfing ira

    sion you will always be remembered as a loving husband and father and great surfer and friend.

  • chard

    kauai loses another of her sons. we well always remember your skills and bravado. God Bless, Sion.

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  • mike

    Ka – why?

  • Rg

    Athough tragic, for he had much time to live and much love to give, he died doing something that made him happy. I feel worse for those he left behind. I pray their strength and conviction carries them through the day. Take care

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  • Cj

    You will always be remembered Sion. My next wave is for u homie

  • Greg Hodges

    Gnarly Dude!

  • katt

    cha! see you on the the wave back…. god be with family loved ones.

  • john boyle

    im a older long boarder from the early 60’s and loved it with my 60 velszy square back 9,6″ candy apple board in my 41 ford woody just started again 3 years ago and its so sad to see a really great surfer die for just one more wave.i gave it up to marry and work in the movie,s how dumb was i, i loved surfing more then most things in life.gee 12 to 15 footed’s was enough for me. they all most got more then once.i feel bad for his wife and kids but he loved it and them too.when you surf to have to concur many things but fear is the greatest ! i use to know guys in high school that went to the beach at malibu with a long board’s that never surf just to sit on beach and pick up girls and even a famous tv actor that had the other 60 candy apple square velzy [ only two made] who waited on the beach at Latigo Cyn just to chat me when i came in and i just shine him. i dont think much of phoney’s; famous or rich mean squate to me. i like the real thing and this surfer had it ; i pray for him to surf in heaven and his family to have grace of the lord. in these hard times.

    • rendon

      FROM SAN CLEMENTE!!! have respect!! nobody cares about your candy apple ass history HAVE RESPECT!!!! KOOK!!!

      • http://surfline joe

        history is where it all comes from God speed Sion.

  • Spencer

    R.I.P. Si, you will be greatly missed

  • Dante

    Sad news that the “Harsh hand of Mavericks” has claimed another life of respected and seemingly fearless big wave charger- Sion Milosky . It’s romantic to say he died doing what he loved…And there is always that risk for big wave surfers…But i think he would rather still be here to share more love with his family and charge yet another big swell ! Deepest of condolences to his family, friends and all who knew this man well .

  • el-loco-surfmania

    R.I.P brother S

    surfing the endless huge wave’s now,
    god be with family and loved ones

  • Thomas Curran

    I send out much love and prayers for Sions family. We as surfers really need to take it to heart and evaluate the TRUE cost and heavy price to be paid when riding big surf. We put our own interest first and in doing so, we jeopardize the future of our wife, kids, family and friends. That’s a big gamble! There is certainly plenty of other things that can jeopardize our families as well. Iv’e heard a couple big wave professional surfers almost drown in hugh surf after a two wave hold down. One guy saying he will never do that again and the other saying all he could think of was his one year old baby and his wife. He said he should of been with them instead of risking his life. Well, both guys are back to riding GIANT surf again. More importantly, are they truly ready to meet their CREATOR? I know Jesus would rather have them providing, teaching, protecting and loving their families and guiding them to His Glorious Heaven. Much love and respect for Sion…

  • Michal

    How many have died at Maverick’s now. 3 or 4 in the last few years. Find somewhere else to surf.

    • kokerot bull kelp slabs

      @michal: “find another wave to surf”..? WTF are you doing reading and adding comments to this article..? you obviously are not a surfer and do not understand commitment and the allure of a great wave like Mav’s….piss off ya donkey

  • Rick

    Charge on Brother, wherever you are! Charge on!

  • pat

    Horrible news…AGAIN!!! Can’t someone come up with a breathing device that looks like a tootsie roll you can clip on to your wetsuit zipper and when necessary you bite into it and get a huge lung full of air. Or at least an inflatable vest that you pull the rope and it jets you to the surface no matter how far under your being held..Just a thought!! Sincere condolences to all the family and friends of this tragically lost ocean brother.

  • Jack

    This is what makes big wave surfing, and the surfers who ride big waves, awesome.

  • fernando

    it’s a terrible news for us that surf…and i wish that god gives him and his family all comfort

  • edrocky


  • Dan Roman

    Wow, another Hawaiian legend dies at Mav’s. It’s a heavy wave and for some reason Hawaiians (apart from Shane Dorian and Brock Little) have had the worst luck there. After Mark Foo died we didn’t see many Hawaiians on huge days. I wonder if cold water training is a good idea, plus of course some small breathing device when two wave hold downs occur.
    I’m so sad for his family, but he died doing what he loved and that must be respected. Anybody wanting to come surf Mavericks should practice for a few days at Steamer Lane on big days to get used to the water density (cold water is denser than warm water, and should be acclimatized to before diving straight into what is likely the heaviest wave on the planet).
    Warm wishes to Si’s family, he was an unbelievable surfer and a great person. His bravado will be missed but I hope we can learn something from his untimely death.

  • Demeth

    No mammess ke mala onda con ese brother, pero en fin murio haciendo lo que le gusta!!

  • Doc

    RIP brother.

  • Tuga

    He lived a life true to his spirit. If we didn’t die would we truly live? I’m a dad too, and have only ridden 15 and 20′ and i know if i died doing what i loved (surfing) my daughter would know i died at peace. May it be the same for his loved ones. Remember also that those waves, though seemingly crazy for most of us, are just the natural progression for them. Most know once you master a certain level there’s no challenge, your like “what’s next?”. I didn’t know him but i dare say he was not crazy just a regular bloke with a ton of courage, who, when challenged, felt most alive. His legacy to all of us is LIVE, face your fears. Had he grown old being someone he was not, he may have died in other ways… wondering “what if.” With that said it is a truly tragic loss. My heart and prayers go out to his loved ones. Father God please comfort them and take care of them. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  • http://NA Juddy B

    I wish he was wearing that wetsuit with the air canister, it gives you a few breaths of air incase you get held down.. but maybe he got knocked out by his board or the rocks, etc.. He paid the ultimate price and he was at the top of this game. I doubt he was arrogant about mother nature, so I really don’t understand why he had to go ?
    Sometimes I wonder why some professionals don’t just sit back and enjoy 2nd place and not worry about killing yourself to be #1 ?

  • martin

    no one knows when there life will be required, the man live his dream and did what 99% of surfer will never do. God Bless the family.

  • jamison calligan

    your children and wife will need the same courage you showed to get thru life w/out you …………..what an example you set…….RIP…… God speed to your family……GOD BLESS AND THANKS FOR THE THRILLS…………..

  • Condor