Mikala Jones: the perfect barrels of Indonesia were his favorite playground | Photo: Red Bull

The surfing world lost a legend this week as Mikala Jones, the iconic Hawaiian surfer, passed away at 44 after a tragic accident while surfing in the Mentawai Islands.

His death has struck a sorrowful chord throughout the international surf community, from Hawaii to Indonesia.

According to his father, John Jones, Mikala bled to death after his surfboard fin cut his femoral artery.

Born on the famous Rocky Point of Hawaii, Mikala grew up with siblings Malia, Keoni, and Daniel Jones, all of whom achieved commendable recognition as professional surfers themselves.

Jones' life took a turn in the early 2000s when he relocated to Bali, Indonesia, where he set out on a quest to discover uncharted surf spots.

His explorations bore fruit as he found waves previously unknown to the world.

But his dedication to preserving these untouched wonders over personal glory displayed his deep respect for the sport and the environment.

Mikala Jones: a free surfing spirit | Photo: Cestari/WSL

POV Pioneer

Jones stood out as a trailblazer, wielding his action camera to document surfing from angles that were truly ground-breaking.

Even as his footage started to turn heads around the world, Jones remained committed to maintaining the secrecy of the surf spots he discovered.

His exceptional skill and dedication to the sport awarded him numerous features on global surf magazine covers.

His The Surfer's Journal shot with his reflection on a wave's face was a game-changer for POV work at that time.

Jones' dynamic life between the scenic landscapes of Hawaii and Bali offered him the privilege of a year-round surf season.

His dedication to riding the barrels is unparalleled.

"It's hard to imagine another 44-year-old who has been so barrelled," as was noted by a surf enthusiast.

Jones was admired for more than his incredible surfing skills.

His sponsor, Matuse Wetsuits, described him as "intelligent and sophisticated" and recognized him for his unwavering humility, work ethic, and relentless pursuit of perfect waves.

He was celebrated for his strong family values, maintaining residences in both Haleiwa, Hawaii, and Bali, Indonesia, for his beloved family.

His untimely death has ignited a flood of heartfelt tributes shared across social media platforms.

Fellow surfers and admirers alike reminisce about their experiences with Jones, whether it was a memorable trip to Indonesia or a simple day on the waves at Rocky Point.

Jones was remembered as a "one of a kind" surfer by three-time surfing world champion Mick Fanning, who highlighted Jones' unique qualities of being "funny, mellow, an explorer, a pioneer but most of all a loving husband and father."

Fanning recalled how Jones' family was his pride and joy, always ready to share their latest photos and videos.

His daughter, Isabella Lokelani Jones, posted a touching tribute to her father on Instagram, expressing her profound love and gratitude for him.

She thanked him for the life lessons and cherished their fond memories together.

It was a testament to the strong bond between a father and daughter, painting a picture of Jones as a loving father whose presence will be deeply missed.

The Surfer's Journal: the famous Mikala Jones POV cover shot

A Family Man

Mikala Jones was more than just a surfer; he was a boundary-pushing explorer, a dedicated environmentalist, and a devoted family man.

His audacious spirit was contagious as he chased the horizon in search of the next big wave.

His love for his family was boundless, just like the seas he surfed.

It is impossible to fully capture the impact Mikala Jones had on the surfing world and the lives of those who knew him.

His legacy will live on through the waves he discovered and loved, the surfers he inspired, and the family he held dear.

While his death came too soon, there is a profound appreciation for the remarkable life he lived.

He gave the world a new lens through which to view the sport, championed environmental preservation, and touched countless hearts with his kindness and love for his family.

His life serves as a reminder that surfing is more than a sport; it's a way of life.

Words by Luís MP | Founder of SurferToday.com

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