Hundreds of brave souls jump into frigid waters at SF's Ocean Beach to celebrate New Year

A new year is an opportunity to cleanse oneself, leaping headfirst into the unknown promise of the calendar’s turn. For some Bay Area denizens, this truism was made literal during the annual Ocean Plunge, where hundreds of individuals ran into the frigid Ocean Beach waters to ring in the start of 2019.

The water, indeed, was chilly — the temperature at Ocean Beach is around 55 degrees this time of year, a figure at which surfers are advised to wear a quality wetsuit, at the very least.

Wetsuits at the Ocean Plunge appeared to be largely absent, with most swimmers opting for the standard swim trunks or two-piece get-up. One notable exception — a handful of World Naked Bike Ride participants, who opted for a clothing-free approach.

Though the Ocean Plungers of San Francisco ought to be commended for their bravery, they paled in comparison to the daring souls of Seattle, who waded into Lake Washington in the face of even cooler water temperatures.

Check out the slideshow above to see photos from San Francisco’s New Year’s Day Ocean Plunge.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/polar-plunge-ocean-beach-san-francisco-naked-bike-13503419.php.

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