Mikala Jones, a professional surfer known for his photography and videos filmed from inside the tight tubes of breaking waves, has died after an accident while he was surfing in Indonesia, his family said.
His father, John Jones, told The Associated Press that his son, 44, was out on the waves on Sunday during a trip to the Mentawai Islands off the western coast of Sumatra when the fin on his surfboard sliced his femoral artery, which supplies blood to the lower limbs.
This week, the online surfing world mourned a member of its tribe and circulated some of his most popular works, including a photograph 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’s last Instagram posts, he filmed himself standing up 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’s nephew, was surfing with him in the isolated region when he was injured, a family friend, Nathan Myers, said in an interview on Wednesday.
“I tried my absolute 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 tough as it gets.”
As described in a profile in The Surfer’s Journal published in 2014, Mr. Jones set out 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 tall in the belly of the beast,” the article, written by Mr. Myers, said.
“It’s like a disease,” Mr. Jones told Mr. Myers. “But when you pull up at a spot you’ve been researching and the swell is there, the wind is right and you’re about to paddle out to empty perfection, that’s what it’s all about. That’s where I get my fix.”
“I love the travel. I love the 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’s 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 pursue them throughout the world.
“They are chasing storms,” Mr. Myers said, “and they would take amazing photos. He became one of the very best POV guys,” he said, using the cinematic shorthand for point of view.
Mr. Jones made some of the sport’s best point-of-view videos while riding barrels, using techniques that he had worked on for more than a decade, including board-mounted cameras and rigs he held in his hand, before he started a collaboration with 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’ve always wanted to get the sunrise,” he said.
“When the sun is coming up you only have 15, 20 minutes tops 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.”
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