One year ago today, the big-wave community lost one of its own when Sion Milosky drowned during a hold-down at Mavericks. Below are a few stories about Sion, from those who knew him best.
“One winter a few years ago, we were both on the North Shore of Oahu and the swell was filling in really fast and a lot of the Outer Reefs were breaking. I swung by the house where Sion was at and he asked me what I was up to. It was just starting to get dark and I told him I was gonna go paddle one of the Outer Reefs. At this point, he was already relaxing on the porch with a beer, but when I told him that, he put his beer down and said, ‘I’m coming then.’
We grabbed our paddle boards and threw them in my tiny rental car. I think at the time in his career, Sion only had one big-wave paddle board—an old Hans Hedamann single-fin from way back in the day. Something he’d had forever. By that time the next year, the industry had taken note of him and he had like 10 big-wave boards. But for this session, he just had that one old single-fin that he’d always had.
We flew down the road, our car basically overflowing with our boards, and finally got to where we were gonna surf. We were all fired up, but it was already getting dark and I still had to put my fins in. Instead of just paddling out on his own and getting a few more before sunset, Sion sat there and waited for me. We only had a little bit of time, and it was firing, but he made a point to paddle out with me. That’s the kind of friend he was. When we finally made it out that day, we ended up getting some bombs and having an epic session.”
“I remember Sion had this crazy idea of driving his fishing boat from Kauai to Haleiwa harbor when he decided to move to Oahu. He talked me into going with him and we left Port Allen on Kauai at 4 a.m. I fell asleep on the engine box and about halfway through the trip, around noon, I awoke to find the boat in flames. Smoke filled the cabin and it was crazy. Si opened the engine box and put out the fire with an extinguisher, but we lost all electrical power and had no radios…nothing. We were just drifting in the Pacific with no land in sight. Sion, the animal he is, didn’t even break a sweat. Had he not been so confident I probably would have had a heart attack. After a few hours of drifting, some random Japanese guy on a fishing boat comes by, and we flag him down. He tows us all the way back to Kauai, and 20 hours later, we are back at the same port that we started off at. We tried to give him money, but he refused, so Sion and I bought him beers. I’ll never forget that trip; there’s no one else I would have rather been drifting at sea with than Sion.”
“Sion Milosky is an intense human being who did everything in life at full throttle. There was no half-speed or half-ass. He had an all-or-nothing, go-big-or-go-home attitude. Not only did he do things all the way turned up, but he also liked to do them with accuracy and always made sure things were well thought out before he did so. Sion was an awesome father, husband, son, and friend. He was a man with his priorities in order and was a man of his word. I miss you so much SI and I love you brother and I will see you again one day.”
“Sion was one of a kind. He put his heart into everything he did. Whether it was in the water or on land, I always felt I was chasing the bar that he was setting. There was no bullshit with Si, he let his actions speak for him and I feel blessed to have been able to take notes. He is greatly missed.”
“A family man. I really miss burning rubber in front of each other’s house and harassing each other all through the night. Now you’re in your dream car and can’t wait to show me how it’s really done! Because for all those years I ruled you on that one brother! But I got to say you went big, that’s all I know. I miss you, my adrenalin-junkie friend. I’ll catch a big one or two for you! And I hope someone will be there to catch it on film, but you know that I go where no one is. If not, I know you and A.I. are watching or riding the monster with me. R.I.P. brother…till we meet again!”