Big wave surfer Sion Milosky killed in accident at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay
Big wave surfer Sion Milosky died Wednesday after he was pitched into the sea by a towering wall of water and then held beneath the surface by a second wave at Maverick's Beach in Half Moon Bay, about 25 miles south of San Francisco.
Milosky, 35, wiped out after catching the wave just before dark at Mavericks, home to some of the biggest waves in the world, according to Jack Morrisey, surfing team manager for Milosky’s corporate sponsor, Volcom.com.
“It’s with a very heavy heart that we bid farewell to Hawaiian family man and big wave surfer Sion Milosky,” Volcom said in a statement. “After a wipeout and a two-wave hold down at Mavericks, Sion passed away. Words can¹t begin to describe how saddened we are by this loss.
“Sion's first passion was his wife and kids, and surfing giant waves was his second,” the statement added. “Our sincere condolences go out to Sion's family and friends.”
Morrisey said photographers “loved Sion,” a native Hawaiian, because of his penchant for riding huge waves.
Maverick's generates waves up to 80 feet high because of its geography and geology. After gaining momentum for 1,000 miles, arctic swells slam into a reef off tiny Pillar Point, a peninsula that juts into the Pacific at Half Moon Bay. There, the sea bottom abruptly rises from a depth of more than 100 feet to only a few feet, punching the swells skyward.
Professional surfer Mark Foo died in a surfing accident at Mavericks in 1994.
Morrisey said Volcom was creating a foundation for Milosky’s two young daughters.
-- Louis Sahagun
Photo: Sion Milosky Credit: Volcom