From ESPN.GO.COM. Words and interview by Matt Pruett.


Considering the lowbrow Lost ads and the fact that he’s also sponsored by a rum company (Seven Tiki) I figured Aaron Cormican would still be sleeping off his victory celebration, so any pre-noon phone calls were out.

But oddly enough, the New Smyrna Beach, FL, pro sent a text message at 7:54 the morning after winning the 2010 Quiksilver King of the Peak: “Yo boss, got your messo, hit me up I’m cruisin’ didn’t want to call too early … ”

Up before eight the morning after what the hell child formerly known as “Gorkin” called one of the top five surfing moments of his life.

Who would’ve thought?

Congrats Aaron, how long has that crown eluded you?
A good ten years. I probably have a crazier track record in this contest than anybody. I barely lost to Kelly Slater by a tenth of a point [2001], stopped Bryan Hewitson from winning [2002], done a huge air but lost to a guy doing floaters and didn’t show up the next day … It’s good to finally put the nail in the coffin.

How were the waves?
I bet it sucked being a goofyfoot. I was stoked Gromson (Jeremy Johnston) got four skins because that first day was hard — howling winds, crappy lefts. By my sixth heat I was so tired because the day before I did the Tommy Tant Memorial Surf Classic and then the Red Bull Night Riders Tow-At that night. The current and wind had quadrupled in speed from the morning. I was drifting into the jetty, caught a left and got four snaps off for a 5.7, but it wasn’t good enough for a sixth skin. I showed up pretty late the second day, like 40 minutes before my heat, and everyone was telling me Evan Thompson was going for his seventh skin. If he’d gotten eight, I would’ve had to stop him, then win all my heats to make the surf-off. But thanks to Todd Holland, who took him out and left him with seven, that never happened. It was a weird day. Mez [ESM co-owner] told me when I walked up the beach that morning, “I feel like there’s going to be a real interesting finish today.”

You placed second in the Tommy Tant and second in the Night Riders, but who cares? You won the big one.
Like I said, I’ve been putting in a good ten years down there so the crown means a lot to me, especially with how it all went down. The pressure was on. I had to win three heats to win and two just to make a surf-off.

I got my best wave in the last heat of the contest to win it. I paddled out to the north and then diagonally to Third Peak to look for a right. A crazy set came that I thought was gonna close out but it let me adjust to get one good pump in and huck one. It felt good, kind of big and inverted. I landed with so much emotion in my body at that one moment I just threw a double-bird claim to the beach by accident. It was more like, “I can’t believe this just happened.” Then afterwards, I threw every claim in the book