Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 10th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Surf’s Up

blogs thomasCancer benefit for Surf City legend

“I was so involved with surfing that I barely graduated from high school,” says Thomas Hickenbottom. The class cutting was worth it. Hickenbottom bought his first board from Renny Yater in 1959, and continued on to become one of the top rated surfers in the world.

Since he first hit the sand as a young child in Santa Cruz, Hickenbottom has lived, breathed, and dreamed about the beach. He became an original member of the O’Neill surf team, and spent years traveling between Hawaii and Santa Cruz chasing waves.

“We competed locally and up and down the California coast,” he says. “It was such an honor to be involved with all those great surfers on the same team. We were like rock stars back then.”

A combination of his being drafted to the Vietnam War, being involved in a painting company, eventually losing his mother, and smoking cigarettes to relax and ease the psychological stress all of this caused led to Hickenbottom’s current Stage Four larynx cancer. The illness means that Hickenbottom can no longer enjoy his beloved ocean.

This Saturday, July 21, a large benefit to raise money for Hickenbottom’s cancer treatments will be held at 109 Bradley St. in Santa Cruz. The event will run from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and will include performances by four bands, silent and live auctions, giveaways and prizes, and appetizers and dinner menus by Hula’s, Cafe Brasil, Pono Hawaiian Grill, and Gilda’s.

“I so humbled and thankful for all [the] support,” Hickenbottom says. “The Santa Cruz surfing community always stands behind their own.”

To buy tickets online, visit The suggested donation is $50, which will go into an escrow treatment fund for Thomas. Donations can also be made at the door if participants prefer to pay with cash.

PHOTO: Hickenbottom at the Pleasure Point Surf Shop in 1966, the year he graduated from Santa Cruz High School. He's wearing his O'Neill Surf Team jacket.

Comments (3)Add Comment
written by Susan Allison, July 18, 2012
I'm lucky to be married to Tom and really appreciate everyone helping with this fundraiser. It's such an honor to live in Santa Cruz where people have such big hearts, and give so selflessly and lovingly.
written by Laura Gray, July 18, 2012
An awesome life. An awesome man. Who has awesome friends. Come enjoy the awesomeness and help support Hicko.
written by sclady, July 18, 2012
Thomas is an amazing guy and has given so much back to our community. It's time for Surf City to come together to support this surf legend!!

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Hot in Here

This ain’t no Burning Man—the MAH’s GLOW festival flames on


Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 9

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Seoul Food

Santa Cruz’s new Sesame Korean is a great introduction to an ancient culinary tradition


Is there evil in the world?

Yes, some people don’t think right because they have been treated badly. Milo Robbins, Scotts Valley, Second Grade


Dos Aguilas Olive Oil

Aptos company is letting locals pick their own olives in October


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist