Last week, I watched TV reports of the famed Mavericks Invitational big wave surf contest held off Half Moon Bay, Calif., and marveled not only at the bravery of facing three- to five-story high waves but the cold of the Pacific waters and January air.

Just like Maverick’s, minus the massive waves and superstar surfers, the second annual Icebox Open on Folly Beach is a winter surfing contest that waits for the best wave conditions, no matter how cold, rainy or windy, not a specific date on the calendar. It’s a common practice in the West and in Hawaii.

“We use a waiting period so we could get the best, most rideable surf,” said Ocean Surf Shop owner Scott Quattlebaum. “Most contests in our area are held on a specific day, and if you get waves, you are lucky. We wanted to give our contestants the best chance to shine in big, and likely cold, conditions. Hopefully, the swell will cooperate.”

Ocean Surf Shop, along with the local chapter of the Eastern Surfing Association, started Icebox last year, in part, to recognize the year-round surfing community and bridge the offseason gap between the warmer-weather surf contests. Last year’s inaugural event drew 32 males and eight females. Local surfers Kyle Busey and Grace Muckenfuss took home $1,000 and $400, respectively.

“The first event was really popular,” Quattlebaum said. “We were quite surprised at the turnout. It was like everyone was stoked to come out of hibernation and start the surfing season.”

Like last year, Quattlebaum and Ocean Surf Shop manager Bates Hagood will set their sights on the best wave forecast for holding the one-day contest on the following weekend: Feb. 2-3; Feb. 9-10; Feb. 16-17; Feb. 23-24 or March 2-3.

They will make the call about four days before the contest and will announce it on Ocean’s website, Facebook page, email list and media sources. By the way, the water temperature in Charleston was 53 last week.

The contest is drawing support from other businesses, such as Rita’s Seaside Grille and Gold’s Gym, and attention from beyond the Charleston surfing community. “I have also spoken to some of my surf industry friends, so we will likely get high-level surfers from the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina and Florida to join the fray this year,” Hagood said. “We could see some talent from across the Southeast. It is exciting to see the contest grow after just one year.”

Check for updates and more information.

Forest cleanup

Nature Adventures is organizing an effort to clean up boat landing areas in the Francis Marion National Forest, starting at 8 a.m. Saturday at the ranger station at 2967 Steed Creek Road in Huger, as part of Palmetto Pride Clean Up and World Wetlands Day.

Call Nature Adventures to sign up a “crew” at 568-3222 and receive a free rental gift certificate. The event includes a lunch at noon.

Yoga for Caryn

Several yoga studios are donating proceeds from classes at 4 p.m. Saturday to the Warrior Fund for Caliente Caryn on

The fund seeks to raise $50,000 for medical expenses of Caryn Antos, who was hospitalized for three weeks in Spain starting on what was supposed to be her wedding day, Dec. 31.

Among the confirmed studios are Mission Yoga and Charleston Power Yoga in Charleston.

More information is available on the Team Caryn Facebook page.

School 5Ks

Bridging the gap between the Charleston Marathon, Charlie Post Classic 15K the past two weeks and next weekend’s Save the Light Half Marathon and Go Red 5K are two small school 5Ks this Saturday.

The Ashley Ridge Fox Trot 5K will be at 8 a.m. Saturday at Ashley Ridge High School at 9800 Delemar Highway in Summerville.

The fourth annual Nativity School Flapjack 5K and 1-mile family walk will be at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Stono Shelter at James Island County Park.

Reach David Quick at 937-5516 or