Peggy Oki

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Peggy Oki
Peggy E. Oki

(1956-04-10) April 10, 1956 (age 65)
Other namesZ-Girl
EducationUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
OccupationSkateboarder, surfer, artist, environmental activist
Years active1970s–present

Peggy E. Oki (born April 10, 1956)[1] is an American skateboarder, surfer, artist, and environmental activist.[2] She was an original member of the Z-Boys and competed with the Zephyr Competition Team in the 1970s. She was the only female member of the Z-Boys.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Oki was born in Los Angeles, California,[1] to Ben Oki and Sadako Oki[4] (née Haramoto).[1] Her father was a Sacramento-born Nisei.[5] Her family is originally from Hiroshima, Japan.[6] Oki grew up in West Los Angeles,[7] in an area later called Dogtown.[8] Her father bought Oki (and her brother) her first skateboard when she was 10 years old from the Fedco department store. She said it was a Black Knight skateboard with "Fred Flintstone (stone-age) rock wheels".[9][10]

In 1973, Oki graduated from Venice High School.[11][12]

She has an AA in biology from Santa Monica City College, and an AA in fine and studio arts (with Honors) from Santa Barbara City College. Oki received a BFA in painting from the College of Creative Studies at UCSB with an emphasis on environmental art.


In the 1970s, while attending Santa Monica City College, Oki began skating on the original Zephyr Competition Team also known as Z-Boys.[7][13] Oki, who was a surfer and motocross rider, met skateboarder Jay Adams, who asked her if she wanted to join the Zephyr team. She went to Jeff Ho's shop Jeff Ho Surfboards and Zephyr Productions on Main Street in Venice, where the team was based, and joined the team.[9]

Oki's skateboarding style was described as raw and gritty.[14][15]

In March 1975, she took first place in Women's Freestyle at the Del Mar Nationals skateboarding competition.[16] She said that she did not enjoy the politics of competing or the wait time involved where there wasn't much skating happening, so stopped shortly after the Del Mar event.[9]

Since 1998, Oki has worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer selling fine art cards as Oki Designs. Oki has also worked freelance in the fields of landscape and architectural design.

In 2001, she appeared in the film Dogtown and Z-Boys.[3]

From 2003 to 2008, she taught art at Santa Barbara City College, Continuing Education and youth art programs through the Carpinteria Valley Arts Council.[17]

In March 2004, she founded the Origami Whales Project to raise awareness about commercial whaling in Japan, Norway, and Iceland.[18]

Since 2011, she has been an environmental art instructor at the Origami Whales Project's Whales and Dolphins Ambassador Program. The program works with students to educate them about the human created threats to cetaceans and the ocean habitats where they live.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Oki lives in Los Angeles and Raglan, New Zealand.

Oki went vegan around 15 years ago for ethical reasons, and before that she was a vegetarian.[6][18]

She is involved with many activities such as yoga, skateboarding, rock climbing, and has been a life-long surfer.[2][16]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Peggy E Oki". California Birth Index, 1905-1995. FamilySearch.
  2. ^ a b Ryder, Caroline (April 22, 2015). "Dogtown legend Peggy Oki is fighting to protect our oceans". Huck Magazine.
  3. ^ a b Hamm, Keith David (December 1, 2002). "The Z-Girl in the Skateboard History Books". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ "Sadako OKI". Los Angeles Times. December 15, 2011.
  5. ^ "Ben Oki". The Rafu Shimpo. February 2018.
  6. ^ a b Weber, Kerry (July 4, 2012). "Vegetable Shredder – Peggy Oki". Vegan Skate Blog.
  7. ^ a b Olson, Steve (February 1, 2002). "Dogtown Chronicles, Volume 3: The Zephry Team – Peggy Oki". Juice Magazine.
  8. ^ Nishiyama, Maki (May 6, 2016). "Q&A: Peggy Oki". Bad Things Apparel.
  9. ^ a b c Marcus, Ben (March 27, 2015). "The Dogtown Package - Interview with Peggy Oki" (excerpt). CalStreets Skateshop.
  10. ^ Marcus, Ben; Griggi, Lucia Daniella (photography by) (2011). The Skateboard: The Good, the Rad, and the Gnarly : an Illustrated History. Minneapolis, MN: MVP Books. ISBN 9780760338056. OCLC 710897927.
  11. ^ "Congratulations to Our Hall of Fame Members!". Venice High Alumni. 2019.
  12. ^ "Peggy Oki ~ 1973". Venice High Alumni. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  13. ^ LaRochelle, Sasha (June 9, 2005). "Peggy Oki". Sasha LaRochelle. Archived from the original on November 10, 2005.
  14. ^ Nentwig, Lee; Constantinou, Theo (October 1, 2014). "Propelled by Passion". PARADIGM. Archived from the original on October 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "Peggy Oki". DogTown. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Ambassador: Peggy Oki". Newf Surfboard Net. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  17. ^ Chase, Linda (2007). "Peggi Oki: Late Drop". Surfing: Women of the Waves. Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. p. 76. ISBN 9781423601791. OCLC 165478833.
  18. ^ a b Kelway, Rosie (April 3, 2015). "Dogged Advocate". VIVA.
  19. ^ Vos, Inger (February 3, 2016). "Local kids help skate star support Maui's". Raglan Travel & Visitor Information.
  20. ^ Indy Staff (November 24, 2010). "Local Heroes 2010: Peggy Oki: Artist Activist". Santa Barbara Independent.
  21. ^ "2012 – Peggy Oki". Skateboarding Hall of Fame & Museum. 2012. Archived from the original on January 15, 2015.
  22. ^ Weinreich, Troy (June 16, 2012). "Peggy Oki - Skateboarding Hall of Fame 2012". Skateboarding Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2015 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]