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Polar Plunge: Hundreds Brave Chilly Ocean Waters For New Year Tradition

HUNTINGTON BEACH ( — A crowd lined the shore of Huntington Beach, some with the steely determination of warriors and other dressed in hilarious costumes, but all trying to prepare themselves for the nerve-wrenching moment to come.

Hundreds went on to run into the frigid waters of Huntington Beach on New Year's Day for the 15th Annual Surf City Splash.

Participants say they do it to start the new year fresh — literally.

Polar Plunge - Huntington Beach Surf City Splash
(credit: CBS)

"That's how it got started: was just a bunch of crazy people wanting to jump in the water and start the new year by washing off the old and starting the new with a splash," Surf City Splash founder Lee Love said.

Several visitors from Canada said this plunge was less cold than ones they've tried at home — and that's why they were eager to do it.

Many Southland residents came out of the water exclaiming they were cold and, some, invigorated.

The Surf City Splash, or polar plunge as it's called in other cities, raises money for the International Surfing Museum and local surf school clubs.

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