For some, it’s a way to wash off the old year – in chilly, toe-numbing fashion..
It can be a bet among friends to see who will reach the water and dunk first under the ocean’s surface, which by the way, has recently dropped into the mid-50-degree range.
Others try to think up the silliest, craziest costume to stand out among the bikini-and-boardshort-or-Speedo-wearing crowd.
Did we mention wetsuits aren’t allowed?
Plunging into chilly waters isn’t a new idea, but events such as the Surf City Splash on New Year’s Day has an added benefit: a chance to give back.
Now in its 17th year, the Huntington Beach plunge was conceived by Mike Parks, who with a few friends decided to hold an event sponsored by his church to bring in the new year, dipping into the water near the pier.
Huntington Beach resident Lee Love remembers getting a flier announcing the inaugural event.
“I thought, ‘What a great idea,’” said Love, who takes an ocean swim every day, rain or shine, wearing just a swimsuit.
When Parks went on to college and the event started to fizzle, Love took over to keep it afloat.
She decided to add a twist by making it a fundraiser, like many of the polar plunges held through the years do for Special Olympics. She named it “Splash” so people didn’t confuse it with the others.
Surf City Splash has benefited different causes since then – from the Huntington Beach Rotary Club to K9 Companions for Independence. This year, proceeds from registration and pancake sales will go to the…
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