Billy Kemper Wins The Steep And Deep Challenge

Billy Kemper

Billy Kemper's winning wave at Pipeline. Sion would be proud! Photo: Zak Noyle

Billy Kemper Wins The Sion Milosky Steep And Deep Pipe Photo Challenge

Zak Noyle and Billy Kemper embodied the spirit of the late-great Sion Milosky with a single image from the Banzai Pipeline, winning the inaugural Steep and Deep Pipeline Photo Challenge. This contest awarded the surfer and photographer who captured the biggest, steepest Pipeline barrel from the 2011-12 winter season. Honolulu’s Zak Noyle, 26, who is a staff photographer for Surfer Magazine, and Billy Kemper, 22, nailed two epic images from Pipeline this winter, both were nominated in the seven finalists of the photo challenge.

“Zak Noyle is one of my really good friends so I try to shoot with him as much as possible,” says Kemper, who won the Live Like Sion editorial ad, bragging rights, prizes and the winning photo framed in custom koa. “Noyle is the man. In the last few years he has become one of the best water photographers at Pipe. He puts himself in some crazy places to get what he gets done.

“The prize money is amazing, but that was the last thing I was thinking about with the [Steep and Deep Pipeline Photo Challenge], this is all for the love and passion in honor of our friend, Sion Milosky, and surfing Pipeline,” explains Kemper.


Sion Milosky, who tragically passed away while surfing Mavericks in 2011, was a big wave surfer, Pipeline master and inspirational person for the way he skillfully charged and negotiated giant waves and the Banzai Pipeline. Much like Kemper’s sentiments, Noyle also considered Sion as an honorable and inspiring human being in the way he lived his life, as a father and friend.

“Sion never had to tell anyone how to be a good person, he just was one and everyone around him could see how he cared for and interacted with his children and wife: A true role model,” says Noyle, who won $1000, editorial photo and custom framed image of the winning wave.

“The prize money is awesome to have been able to be pulled together and I am so thankful, but I did this contest in memory of Sion and for the love that he had for all, and I wish to donate 100% of the money to the Milosky family. Sion was a man who loved big waves, Pipeline and getting barreled as steep and deep as possible, the only thing that he loved more than that was his family. This is how one Lives Like Sion.”

“Sion’s approach was raw, it was all for the love,” explains Kemper. “Sion didn’t surf Pipe for the shot or the attention, he surfed out there and did what he did for himself, he loved what he did and he did it amazingly. Sion gave me so much inspiration to just go out and have fun, no limits, all good vibes. He surfed steeper and deeper than anyone!”

“Sion straight up surfed Pipeline for the love of it, the fame and exposure just followed him, he never chased it,” explains Noyle. “One of my greatest memories of Sion was when we would have a great day out at Pipeline big waves beautiful day all around. And we would be sitting on the Oakley team porch at sunset going through the photos on my camera, and he was stoked on his photos, but even more stoked on his friends getting great photos, just genuinely happy that his friends had great waves. That was just his nature very selfless and caring of others.”

Needless to say, we are looking forward to next year’s event.

Learn more at LiveLikeSion.com Aloha!