POIPU, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sion Milosky was well-known in the surfing community, not only as a big-wave rider but as a devoted family man. Surfers and others gathered on Kauai Sunday to pay tribute to him.
Wearing black caps that read "Live Like Sion," hundreds gathered at Prince Kuhio Beach Park to remember professional surfer Sion Milosky, 35.
"An awesome man," Rico Jimenez, Milosky's friend, said. "In the water, he was second to none. The nuts-est, craziest guy you ever did see. But his land act, he's a tough act to follow, man."
The Kalaheo, Kauai native graced the April cover of Transworld Surf magazine, but was also known as a humble, down-to-earth husband and father of two girls.
"The perfect man, perfect dad, perfect husband, perfect surfer, perfect person that wouldn't go behind your back," Makua Rothman, Milosky's friend, said.
"One of the nicest, nicest human beings I've ever known in my life," Ronny Nelson of Oakley, Milosky's sponsor, said.
Investigators say Milosky was wearing a floatation device while riding monster waves at the legendary Mavericks in Northern California just before sundown March 16th. The surf was too much, and his body was found at a harbor nearby.
"He wanted to catch the biggest wave in the world," Nelson said. "It was pure adrenalin and pure stoke for him. It wasn't sponsor supporting him at a time. It wasn't about the money. It wasn't about the XXL win. It was something that just lived in Sion."
With a large audience on shore, surfers paddled out, caught a few waves for their friend, and then formed a circle as loved ones scattered his ashes.
For many, especially on Kauai, emotions are still raw over the recent death of surfing legend Andy Irons. Milosky and Irons were close friends.
Sunday's ceremony took place near PK's surf spot, where Milosky grew up longboarding.
"He's someone I looked up to all my life," Milo Murguia, Milosky's friend, said. "It's a tragic loss. I definitely lost a little piece of me."