Surfers are already known for being a mellow group, but Laguna Beach High junior Taylor Pitz may just be taking it to the next level.
Pitz said she started doing Bikram yoga in North Laguna over her Christmas break.
“I just really like it," she said. “It’s helped a lot with my flexibility, and strength as well."
In the water, though, her strength is becoming less and less of a question.
Pitz won the National Scholastic Surfing Assn. women’s high school state championship Sunday at the Huntington Beach Pier, beating out four other girls in the process.
It was her first state title after finishing runner-up to Newport Harbor’s Kaleigh Gilchrist the previous two years. This year, Gilchrist (10.24 points) finished third, behind the Sailors’ Shelby Detmers (11.00).
Pitz scored 13.00 points and said both her scoring rides happened in the first seven minutes of the 20-minute final.
“It was really exciting. I was really stoked to win. Last year, I had the highest score in the final heat but I couldn’t get a back-up [wave]."
Her win was part of a strong Laguna contingent. Thurston Middle School eighth-grader Leah Pakpour finished second in the middle school girls’ competition and seventh-grader Tobie Grierson was fourth in the middle school longboard competition.
Laguna surf Coach Scott Finn, who saw the early rounds of the NSSA state competition, said he was impressed with Pitz’s progress.
“I don’t think anyone in Laguna has won that individual title before," Finn said. “The conditions were tough, but she stayed focused and disciplined. She’s doing really well."