Daredevils across the nation -- from alpine-ish lakes in Colorado to Coney Island -- have gained fame for welcoming New Year's Day with a mad jump into whatever frigid body of water happens to be nearby. Intrigued? Southern California has its own strip-down-and-go-for-it swim in the form of the Annual Lion's Surf City Splash, a January 1 must-do (or must-watch) near the Huntington Beach Pier.
Why do humans, who normally shun cold temperatures and seek places of warmth, don a teeny bathing suit and willingly choose to run, laughing/screaming/howling, into wicked-cold waves on New Year's Day? In the case of the Lion's Surf City Splash, participants are braving the biting temps to raise cash for Canine Companions for Independence (in addition to doing it for the fame, glory, and applause of friends on the shore standing by with cameras). Some 100 people made the splash last year, which is quite a pull-the-scarf-closer, burrow-into-the-sweater sight.
The pancake breakfast beforehand should give the water-dashers plenty of carbs to keep warm-ish. The support of family and pals who fully intend to keep their jackets on while they watch the teeth-chattering hijinks from the shore should lend courage. The fact that the temperature of the waves and air should be much warmer than other locations around the country also hosting New Year's Day plunges should help fortify participants as they strip down to their skivvies. Tempted? Even if you want to stay clothed, grab a camera and make for the sand...
Lion's Surf City Splash
Thursday, January 1, noon (pancake breakfast is at 9:30AM)
Adjacent to the Huntington Beach Pier, 400 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach