CATCHING UP WITH …GORKIN
Aaron Cormican, aka Gorkin, has always been one of those raw motherfuckers who I just love to watch surf. No airdrops at Mav’s or Backdoor behemoths, just straight up astounding aerial acrobatics combined with a smooth style and flow… I’ll take it. I was introduced to a young Gorkin through …Lost advertisements and videos, where his party animal, bong ripping, Tony Hawk playing persona was something I, a fledgling young runt could identify with. At the time, this portrayal of a young surf rat beating the world to the chase with his famous, “Gorkin Flip”, was bad ass.
Gorkin kept his act up racking up contest win after contest win with his small wave mastery, and had a solid presence in the mainstream surf media. When I met Aaron in 2013, he had nestled himself into a comfortable hidey hole somewhere in Costa Rica, surfing his brains out and living “Pura Vida”. He’s one of those cats you see in the mags and figure would be a egocentric douche, but our conversations were refreshing, and I could see that I had met a much more matured Gorkin, someone who had lost a lot but was still finding ways to stay stoked- in this case surfing all day in perfect, rampy, Central American surf.
After returning home to Florida, he began toying around with the idea of shaping surfboards. When you’ve made a living surfing your whole life, it’s natural to gravitate towards another profession that can keep you immersed in what you love to do. And he’s done just that, using trial and error to begin learning the ropes. I caught up with the high flying Floridian to get some insight into his newfound passion.
Q I met you a few years ago in Costa Rica, and it seemed like you had moved on to a new chapter in your life. It must be hard going from a top tier pro surfer to a talented yet undervalued surfer, in a world where all the money has been siphoned to the top, mainly world tour surfers. Yet, you seemed content, surfing your brains out in the tropics, living the “Pura Vida” lifestyle to the fullest. Was this a difficult process for you? How do you feel about the current state of “pro surfing”? Which leads me to my next question…..
A Nah it was fairly easy I guess ‘cause I had been going there for so many years prior. Also, I had friends all over the country to hang with down there so that helped too. As far as caring about being “pro”, yeah I still wanted to be, but I needed Costa at that time in my life! I had gone through a divorce that took a while to finalize and then lost everything- from my car to my house, which I worked so hard for. That’s why I said “Fuck it”, I’ll go hang out in Costa with my buddy Kenny G and score sick waves every day!
The current state of pro surfing…. hmmmmmm? Shit, all I think about now is making boards to be honest. I love watching it though, especially JJ Florence-he’s a beast! I am pretty much outta the loop after almost two years in Costa haha. Now I gotta catch up on who all the groms who’re ripping.
Q You began shaping recently under the “Gorkin Surfboards” moniker. Can you detail just what inspired you to get into the shaping bay? At what point did you realize that this would be your new focus?
A Well my dad has been most his life. He started in the 70’s and still does. Well not as much now due to health stuff, but he’s a big motivator. Last year was I just kinda jumped in and really started to try and learn it. I did 3 boards prior, through a 10 year period haha, but yah last year I purchased my first blanks to shape other people on October 1, 2013.
Q How does it feel to go from a profession which can be very self-absorbing, into another in which you are actually creating boards and memories for others? How has the local community responded to your shapes? How does it feel to see someone do the turn or air of their lives on one of your shapes?
A It’s weird I feel like I’m doing something I should be doing. I actually used to talk to Sabo (Sabian DeSpenza) about boards when we were living at same zone in Costa. That was a big motivator. You know the response has been good but there’s always the haters who think I’m just using my name. Thing is, I respect the craft and am hand shaping along with using the computer.
When somebody does something rad on a board I created for them or just sends a text that they love their board, I feel like I won a contest. It’s that tingly feeling that makes me get all giddy and laugh out loud like a kid, its rad!
Q Who do you look to for inspiration in your shapes? What current models or experimentation have you been working on? What’s the theory behind your shaping style?
A I look at all kinds of shapers; from the most well-known all the way down to some guys I’ve never even heard of and only have like 300 Instagram followers but their boards look amazing! Ryan Burch is rad as far as a name drop- he’s outside the box. I want to be like that and I feel that experimentation is what will keep board building evolving. My style is to just listen to the customer and do my best to build them the board that allows them to surf the way they like. To be honest, think my style is far from established and I’ve gotta a while I get to that point. I’m way inside on shore break riding the whitewater hahahaha.
Q You are a world class surfer without a huge company backing you…is this frustrating? Or do you look back and think, “Man, I had a pretty good run!”? However, you’re riding for the Mad Huey’s now- that must be pretty cool to be able to align yourself with a brand like there’s. How did that come about and how do you feel you fit in with their brand?
A I mean it is but I’m trying to build my own business so I can be my own sponsor for a trip. Yeah, a lil income from a company would be great, but fuck it hard work is nothing new to me and I’ll continue push myself to try to get what I want.
As far as the Hueys go, I call that me just supporting the boys ‘cause I love the whole fishin’, surfin’, don’t gives two shits and have fun attitude! I met the Hazza brothers when I went to Oz cause I was lucky enough to be hanging with the Coolie crew on the Gold Coast. I actually caught a huge flathead fish when they took me one night and it tripped them out seein’ the American wanker catching this big ol’ flatty!
Q I know Costa has been a Honey Pot for you in recent years, any plans on dipping into any new uncharted waters? Or are you happy being home in Florida for the time being?
A Right now it’s all about transition. Turning n’ learning how to be a boss. So Florida is gonna be my stomping grounds and home always. Plus my family is here so I wanna be here.
Q Last but not least, what’s your thoughts on the current state of professional surfing? What gets you fired up, and what pisses you off? Hipsters? Jocks?
A Right now I think the Internet is a great thing and a bad thing. Cause content gets water whipped on sites, and seeing some really shitty edits pisses me off. But the benefit is people around the world getting to see what each other is doing which pushes the level. Now we have a Brazilian world champ, which is unreal.
What pisses me off is when I get pissed about shit I shouldn’t! That my goal… to not get pissed and carry that positivity into making good boards that will hopefully one day be great boards.
Q Any shout outs you’d like to throw out there?
A Yeah, my friends and family for always supporting me and backing me even though it can be hard as hell to do at times. BIG thanks to The New Board Konnexion aka NBK, Bill Mcgill , Jesse Fernandez , AJW surfboards, Mayhem , Shane Smith, Perkins and Jessu, Wes, Collin , and all the supporters on Instagram and Facebook. I wanna thank the people who have gotten boards, like my Grom riders Chase Modelski, Matty Zaccaria, Ava Mcgowen, Jared Petraca, and Aiden Collins. I’m sure I’ve left out tons of people, but you know you are!
Oh yah follow me @therealgorkin, and to order a board contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org