Surfing Laguna: Poignantly clearing out a trophy collection

I received a message the other day from Mark Pitz, father of local surf phenom Taylor Pitz.

He asked me if I had any use for some of Taylor's vast collection of surfing trophies now that she is bound for Stanford this coming fall.

I happily obliged and told Mark that the trophies would be put to good use as awards to winners of our local surf comps — like the Oak Street Surf Jam, an event Taylor won several years ago.

He was stoked at the idea of passing them on to other young surfers.

Several days and multiple car loads later, our Soul Surf studio was filled to the brim with Taylor's trophies — some huge and nearly touching the ceiling, others quite ornate with intricate detail that glisten as you view them.

It was almost overwhelming when considering that each trophy embodies so much commitment from Taylor and her parents.

As Mark and I unloaded the trophies, we had a great conversation about what an exciting journey it is to be a parent. Mark reflected back to the years with Taylor when they would surf side by side seemingly every day at Thalia Street.

Mark was always close by as Taylor's confidence slowly increased with each passing season.

As Mark handed me that last beautiful trophy, I noticed something: He didn't let it out of his embrace for an extra few moments, surely soaking in for just a bit longer the joy the journey has been thus far.

Update: This past week Taylor just won a second consecutive West Coast championship title. The trophy is 12 feet tall.

CHRIS WILLIAMS is a surfing coach and Laguna Beach resident, and father of four surf-crazy sons. He can be reached through his blog:

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