Milosky, Sion

Disciplined goofyfooter from Kalaheo, Kauai; a late-blooming semiunderground big-wave master whose death at Maverick's in 2011 shocked and saddened the surfing world. Milosky was born (1975) on Kauai, began riding waves at age three, and eventually competed as a pro longboarder, taking 3rd placed in the 1997 Oxbow World Longboard Championship. He soon retired from competition, started a family, moved to Oahu's North Shore, and patiently built his own welding business. At the same time, Milosky also changed his focus to big waves and, with the same workman-like focus he brought to business, became a top rider at Pipeline, as well as the North Shore's outer reefs.

Milosky won the 2009 North Shore Big Wave Challenge after catching a royal-blue 30-foot jewel at a deep-water break called Himalayas; at the time it was considered the biggest wave ever paddled into. In February 2011, Milosky was named Surfing Magazine's North Shore Underground Surfer of the Year and awarded $25,000. One month later, using a small chunk of his prize money, Milosky caught an afternoon flight to San Francisco to ride the last big swell of the season at Maverick's. A few days after arrival, after a triumphant but exhausting six-hour session at Mavs, Milosky fell at the bottom of a 30-foot set wave just before dusk, was held down for two waves, and drowned. "He had a big smile on his face and just turned around and paddled into this bomb," recalled Maverick's regular Ken Collins, who was hosting Milosky at his Santa Cruz home. "That was the last time I saw him. The wave just sent him straight to heaven." Milosky was 35.

Milosky's was the second surfing-related death at Maverick's, following Mark Foo's drowning in 1994. Surfing magazine and Vans clothing annually present the Milosky Mettle Award to the best big-wave performer on the North Shore.