Tragic Death of Tuberiding Expert Mikala Jones

POV angle of Mikala Jones in the tube.


Famed and universally respected Hawaiian surfer Mikala Jones passed away suddenly last week after a surfing accident in Indonesia’s Mentawai islands. 

The accident, it’s been reported, left Jones with a severed femoral artery in his leg leading to massive blood loss.  

From Surfline: 

​​”Mikala had been staying at the Awera Resort in North Sipora with his wife and three children when, at approximately 9:15am, Sunday, July 9th, he suffered an accident resulting in a wound to the inside of his left groin that was approximately 10 centimeters long. All signs point to a severing of the femoral artery, likely from a surfboard fin.”

Mikala Jones with one of his favorite tools, the GoPro.

His daughter Isabella Lokelani Jones penned a moving message to her Dad on Instagram: 

“I’m in so much disbelief right now, this doesn’t feel real. I love you so much dad and i wish i could give you one last hug. I wish i could tell you again how much i love you and thank you for being the best dad. I wish you were still here with us, you weren’t supposed to leave yet. This is too soon. I know you are in a good place now with nana vi, and your friends. I wish this never happened and we could just wake up and go surf together tomorrow morning. 

“I’m not sure how to put this in words, but my dad got into a bad surfing accident and didn’t make it. Im happy he was doing what he loved the most. Life will never be the same without you. I miss you so much, i would do anything to get one more moment, even if it was us arguing and then laughing our asses off. Thank you for teaching me so many life lessons, and always being there for me. I wish you were still here with us right now. I will always be think about you dad ❤️ i love you so much, thank you for everything ❤️ fly high 🕊️ ur a fucking legend.”

Mikala Jones, who was just 44 years old, mesmerized the surfing world with his enchanting POV images from inside the barrel of unknown waves around the world.  

In Surfline’s Talk Story series, we see the peaceful, calm demeanor of Mikala Jones as he talks about his iconic The Surfer’s Journal cover, his knowledge of tuberiding and photography on full display: : 

“When the sun’s coming up you only have fifteen, twenty minutes tops to get into a barrel…just even to get into a barrel when the sun’s rising like that, it’s hard.  Let alone, trying to push the trigger and hope you achieve a sunrise shot.  I was shooting 30 frames in 3 seconds so if you get 10 frames a second and, you know, you just never know what kind of light you’re going to get. That was a pretty sick sunrise that morning and definitely got lucky that day.”

Mikala Jones' The Surfer's Journal Cover Sunrise Shot. Credit: Mikala Jones.
Mikala Jones’ iconic sunrise cover shot for The Surfer’s Journal.

The video below gives us a special glimpse into the happy, funny, loving family man who Mikala Jones was.

Professional surfers from around the world are paying tribute to Mikala Jones on Instagram following news of his tragic accident.

Sterling Spencer had this to say:

My heart hurts😞 I was always scared of Mikala growing up … he took every wave and his sharp features and tan skin scared me😂 … when we got older and we started to go on trips together for reef… I realized we are from the same tribe … both of our parents died around the same time and it felt like we were soul brothers and we understood each other … you are a real surfers surfer .. legit to the bone … I learned so much from you and I know You’ll visit me soon in the dream realm .. Aloha @mikalajones__ love you and your family 🙏

“I’ve known the Jones O’hana for over 40 years and watch Mikala, his sister & brother grow up ever since they was lil kids and watch Mikala grow up into a great son, brother, friend, husband & father himself,” wrote Johnny “Boy” Gomes.

Following the news, Kelly Slater commented on one of Mikala Jones’ Instagram posts with a simple but powerful, “Legend.”

Filmmaker Taylor Steele posted a clip of Mikala Jones with the accompanying message, “Found this clip of Mikala Jones today and it made me laugh and cry. So I figured I would just share it as it reminds me of so many good times we had over the years. I’m so thankful for the times we had. He will be missed but not forgotten.”

Of the clip, Ross Williams wrote in the comments, “This sums up Mikala pretty well ❤️ .”

Rest in Paradise, Mikala Jones.

Father, surfer, poet.


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