North Shore Underground: Sion Milosky — The Story So Far

posted by / News / November 28, 2010

Pipeline Surfer Sion Milosky

Sion shepherds the kids off to school, Sunset-style. Photo: Ryan Foley


North Shore Underground

With each passing day, Sion Milosky’s name gets spoken a little louder and a bit more often in elite big-wave circles. Sion’s far from a grom — in fact, he has two daughters of his own, plus a home and a business — but the past two seasons have made this polite welder and family man from Kauai into an unlikely up-and-comer. Now he finds himself riding for Volcom and contending the inaugural Vans x SURFING North Shore Underground project.

At our request, Sion explains how he got here.


Sion Milosky:

I was born and raised on Kauai. I’ve been surfing all my life and even professionally longboarded for a while, and I’ve been coming to the North Shore for over 15 years. I’ve always had passion for surfing big waves, but about 10 years ago, I took a break to raise my kids on Kauai. Then I kept hearing how all my friends, the “Kauai boys,” were making an impact on the North Shore, and it got me thinking how I really missed surfing Pipe. So five years ago my family and I decided to become full-time residents here on the North Shore and, here I am, working and surfing.

I kept hearing how all my friends, the “Kauai boys,” were making an impact on the North Shore

About two years ago, [photographer] Daniel Russo got this great shot of me on one of my best waves ever at Pipe, and that’s when I started gaining momentum. Thanks to [Dustin] Barca, Rico [Jimenez] and Ronnie [Blakey], Oakley started helping me. I qualified for the Pipe Masters and started gaining a lot of exposure, and it just so happened that same year we had some of the biggest, best swells in a long time, and paddle surfing made a huge comeback.

There were three particular swells that season: The first was the day before the Eddie; I surfed Waimea all day. The day of the Eddie, I couldn’t just watch, so Evan Valiere told me about this outer reef where we met a few of the boys and had a little secret sesh.

When I saw swell No. 2 I noticed it had a better direction to surf that same outer reef. I had plans to meet [Mark] Healey and Nate [Fletcher] there in the morning, but it ended up arriving on Christmas Day. Luckily, my family is so understanding of my passion that we sped through opening presents and I ended up getting to the spot by 8 a.m. It was 20 to 25 feet with maybe larger sets — the biggest, best barreling lefthander I ever saw.

The third swell, same spot, was another huge one — but word was out about it now and a crew of guys showed up. There were occasional bombs and somehow I got one — the biggest wave I ever paddled into by far, which ended up winning Evan’s North Shore Big Wave Challenge.

After that I started looking around for more help so I could travel, and that’s when Volcom stepped up. Now with Volcom, Oakley and Kona Red, I’m able to chase more swells and pursue my passion.

Thank God that there aren’t good waves every day, ‘cause I still have to run my business to survive. [Editor’s Note: Sion runs a custom driveway gate and welding company.] But with all the things that happened this year and with Volcom on my side, I’m super focused on pushing the sport of big-wave surfing.

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  • Darnt

    Good on Volcom!!!

  • Kevin

    Did I miss the e-mail announcing November as Sion Milosky Month (or the press release announcing his brother-in-law as Surfing webmaster)? WTF with this guy? Mazel tov, he has a family and takes off on big waves. If that’s enough to merit five posts in two weeks, I can name about 13,098 dudes who you owe some ink to.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (zzzzzzzzz).

  • shaun

    #2 your lame,
    Guy’s like this should get some love. He is doing what must of us could only dream of doing. He’s talking care of his family and charging. Good on Veco and Oakley



    Sounds like you would prefer a date with the Malloy faction. Good on yah!

  • Zephyr

    Wow #2. You’re an idiot! First of all, if you can’t do what he’s doing then shut up. I grew up with Sion. I’ve surfed the biggest waves of my life with this guy. All the way till now he was the most unknown guy ever. I think he deserves all the recognition that he’s getting. Especially because he’s 35 years old and only now in the lime light. I think that is mental. And guess what, ………… Si’s not done.

  • Kevin

    @Zephyr – just wanna make sure I have this right: I can’t critique Surfing Magazine unless I take off on giant waves (and weld stuff)? Well, lucky for me, I DO take off on huge waves (Dungeons, Todos, County Line) and – guess what – I’m a kick ass welder. And guess what else, I’M the most unknown guy ever. In fact, even the people who know me, have no idea who I am. And I’m thirty SIX. And I’m not ever CLOSE to done.

    What now Zeph-dawg!??!?

  • jason enerry

    Kevin the self described legend/keyboard warrior. Get a life. Sion would punch you square in the nose if you said that to his face.

  • sam

    well, jason enemy, that makes him even less worthy of 5 blog posts a week.


    Talk all the crap you want about Sion, because at the end of the day he is the guy that is paddling into and taking off on 30 footers and you simply aren’t. Don’t be harping on the real deal folks…..

  • surfer for life

    Enough babble… this is a contest between 5 underground surfers, one of the most interesting concepts a mag has put on in years. That wave Sion got last year was nuts and he’s charging harder than ever at 35. That show on Fuel TV “808” is one of the best I’ve seen documenting the North Shore, they should do a second season. On it Evan Valiere was winning heats in the Pipemasters surfing smooth as silk. Sion’s charging big Waimea, Mickey Bruneau charges Pipe sick, also Hank, Ola and Evan rip small waves. Why not send them all on a trip together to Chopes or Maverick’s and do an article on that. They all blow up.

  • Nick C.

    Can someone here show me where ANYONE has “talked crap” about Sion? And Jason, you obviously DON’T know the dude. He was raised by hippies and hasn’t so much as PUSHED another guy in his 35 years of life. Just because of where he lives/what he does, doesn’t necessarily make him a hair-trigger thug (though most of them are).

  • ray

    This NSU series was excellent. His story isn’t glamorous: which was the beauty of having someone that was excelling at sport get credit where credit was due.
    Surfing, please continue the excellent work.

  • Bored

    Reading the responses above has been hilarious. Thanks.

  • Bash

    If anyone had half the balls of my uncle Si I think we might Know who you are ….keep surfing your blown out 2 foot beach breaks while you surf on the weekends…

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  • Olaboy

    Um for the record Sion grew up in Hawaii but is not of Hawaiian descent. He is a white boy who was born and raised on Kauai. So out of respect for the kanaka maoli “indigenous person” please don’t call someone Hawaiian just cause they live in Hawaii. RIP SION your ohana will miss u

  • Olaboy

    Um for the record Sion grew up in Hawaii but is not of Hawaiian descent. He is a white boy who was born and raised on Kauai. So out of respect for the kanaka maoli “indigenous person” please don’t call someone Hawaiian just cause they live in Hawaii. RIP SION your ohana will miss u

  • Olaboy

    Um for the record Sion grew up in Hawaii but is not of Hawaiian descent. He is a white boy who was born and raised on Kauai. So out of respect for the kanaka maoli “indigenous person” please don’t call someone Hawaiian just cause they live in Hawaii. RIP SION your ohana will miss u

  • Mint

    Yeah Bash, I’ll probably be surfing on the weekends well into my 60s. Not all of us can have the balls to die at 35.

  • Oahu Local Boy From Waikiki

    I have surfed Pipe, Chuns, Sunset Point, etc. Hawaii Water is clean & 70’s! You can grab the reef and then surface for air then dive back down!

    In California it’s COLD DIRTY AND RISKY! Not for the Local Boys! I know, I don’t like the dark & dirty water. I now jet ski, wake board, snow board, and Fish. But I don’t eat any of the California Stuff! Too much lead, mercury, DDT and chemicals…

  • Kalihiwai

    Ola Boy,

    When you call someone who has recently died a “white boy” you render him faceless. Sion was certainly not worthy of your weak description. If you have a problem with the press calling him a “Hawaiian,” then write a letter to the AP and the New York Times. As we know, there are multiple definitions from the Federal government and others about what the definition is. Sion doesn’t fit any of those and in fact he transcended all of them, making definitions irrelevant.

    Maybe Sion was born a “white boy” according to you, but he certainly died a Hawaiian. Save your ethnic discrimination for someone else bruddah. This is a time for inclusion, and not exclusion based on race, culture, or ethnicity. From another Hawaiian to you, shame on you.

  • H2Ophotog

    Well said Kalihiwai, Sion did not deserve those unkind words. As another Hawaiian by choice (for the last 35 years) one of the things I love most about Hawaii and the local people is the endearing Aloha we transplants receive here.
    Mahalo nui..

  • Dave

    R.I.P. dude!

  • Pingback: Sion Milosky dies at Mavericks : Poor Mans Heli

  • Wili W.

    My condolences to Sion’s family. Your gentle spirit will forever reside with us.

    really people, this is not the forum for your racial bickering and disrespect. Sion was a good guy and there’s no reason to be rude here. .

  • Matt

    RIP Sion. I’m sad for those two girls missing their dad.

  • X-Waikiki Boy

    I was from Oahu. But the locals have a “short temper”… I know I have been on both sides of the “temper”…. Now I stay away from “picking” on anyone! “Must be neutral” to avoid “picks, punches & being” pushed off a chat site! PS: I’m now a rich rich dude in So. California, keeping a low profile. I love going back to Oahu, but I ride TheBus 4 the Air Con, locals, talk 2 the tourists and week or monthly cheap pass. 80% of TheBus routes go back to Waikiki so I never get tired of “talking”. The Kam swap meet Sat & Sun has so much “good local food”, “fantastic deals”, “cheap local” fishing & water sports gear for taking back to California!

  • X-Waikiki Boy

    Regarding Oahu, I really think the Homeless should be on the cleaning crew vs. Expensive Govt. Employees. For health benefits, food stamps, free bus passes, etc. the city can get tons of labor for little costs. What’s wrong with Neil? Can’t he get the “under & un-employed” to volunteer for these cheap benefits? The homeless should too as a condition of being “arrested and not-prosecuted”.

  • Big Island Aloha

    I am just curious why a fund is being set up? There is major devastation in Japan and even Bi got rocked… North Shore is good, ritzy living, if they can’t afford it now, maybe move? It doesn’t seem right to be asking for more when there are so many with such great losses and in survival mode right now.

  • Have Some Respect

    I can only hope SION’s wife and daughters can not see the comments left on here. everyone has an opinion and no one can make someone say good things about anyone. as adults however, one would think and hope that if you cant say something respectful or at least kind for the family and friends left behind then you would say nothing. Sion’s surfing speaks for itself. He does have a beautiful family that is still here and they think of him as a hero – for he was to many. Its hurtful to read so many adults with such emptiness inside who think the internet is the place for this. “I” know Sion would never speak harshly of others if it were him here leaving the comments. May his strength rest in the hearts of Suzi and the girls. May the harsh words end and the people grow up – for there may come a time when those mothers sisters brothers fathers son daughters…family of some sort or close friends are reading of YOU.
    Sion – you are an inspiration and will never be forgotten! RIP <3

  • Awe

    Live Like Sion

  • Humility

    I must say that the people who have virtually NO information on or connection to Sion sure do know how to spew some harsh judgment. For anyone who has any humulity what-so-ever, choose how you speak carefully. Sion was a humble loving compassionate person who supported everyone in their life’s passion. I am guessing that the passionate people get that. Y

  • SICK of Haters

    Live+Let Live!!!! we all choose how we live our lives!!! Respect to all those who are kind people and live their lives passionately. RIP Sion… thank you for being a kind person… Society needs more like you!

  • mozdickson

    first heard of this man Sion just now when I tried to watch the pipe contest…sounds like quite a guy. two things:
    – maybe these socalled “sponsors” who push this stuff take some moral resonsibility for the inevitable consequences?
    – when i see all the hating garbage written up above i remember why i’m a surfer with absolutely ZERO interest in the ‘surfing industrial complex’ and the competitive,materialistic, all consuming crap they float in order to line their own pockets
    Aloha, keep surfing and God bless his family. <