Mikala Jones, a professional surfer known for his photography and videos shot from inside the tight tubes of breaking waves, has died after an accident while surfing in Indonesia, his family said.
His father, John Jones, told The Associated Press that his son, 44, was on the waves on Sunday during a trip to the Mentawai Islands off the west coast of Sumatra when the fin on his surfboard cut his femoral artery, which supplies blood to the lower limbs.
This week, the online surfing world mourned a member of its tribe and shared some of his most popular works, including a photo that showed him peering through the barrel of a breaking wave as he rode it into an opening of sunlight.
In one of Mr. Jones latest Instagram posts, he filmed himself standing on a surfboard as the walls of a wave folded around him. “Time to live,” he wrote. Besides his wife and children, he said, surfing was “all I need.”
Isabella Jones, one of his daughters, and professional surfers wrote messages on social media about Mr. Jones, who grew up on the east side of Oahu, Hawaii, and later lived in Indonesia with his wife, Emma Brereton, Isabella and another daughter, Violet.
Keala Ashton, Mr. Jones’ nephew, was surfing with him in the secluded area when he was injured, a family friend, Nathan Myers, said in an interview Wednesday.
“I tried my best to do everything I could and I’m sorry it wasn’t enough,” Mr Ashton. wrote on Instagram. “We were in an environment that was as difficult as it gets.”
As described in a profile in The Surfer’s Journal published in 2014, Mr. Jones set off from Hawaii to Papua New Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka and the Azores to find waves. In Sumatra, “he bagged more than one cover shot standing high in the belly of the beast,” said the article, written by Mr. Myers.
“It’s like a disease,” Mr. Jones told Mr. Myers. “But when you get up at a spot you’ve scouted and the swell is there, the wind is right and you’re about to ride out to empty perfection, that’s what it’s all about. That’s where I get my fix.”
“I love the journey. I love surfing. But right at the point where the two come together – for me that’s the best moment. That’s what I keep chasing,” he said.
In Bali, he set up a surf shop and worked with clothing sponsors while continuing to travel, the article said. Mr Myers, who was also Mr Jones’ neighbor in Canggu, Bali, for a decade, said Mr Jones was among a generation of “free-surfers” who research where the best waves are and chase them. around the world.
“They would chase storms,” Mr. Myers said, “and they would take amazing pictures. He became one of the best POV guys,” he said, using the cinematic shorthand for point of view.
Mr Jones made some of the sport’s best views riding barrels, using techniques he had been working on for more than a decade, including board-mounted cameras and hand-held rigs, before he began collaborating. with a GoPro.
As a producer of surfing videos and photography, he began to pursue not only good waves but the light of the breaking dawn. “I always wanted to get the sunrise,” he said.
“When the sun comes up, you only have 15, 20 minutes to get into a barrel,” he said.
“I just called it work,” Mr. Jones said, referring to his use of the word during the video interview. “But it’s fun.”