Peggy Oki

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Peggy Oki
Peggy E. Oki

(1956-04-10) April 10, 1956 (age 64)
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] Oki 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] Oki's father was a Sacramento-born Nisei.[5] Oki's 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]

Oki has an AA in biology from Santa Monica City College. She has 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 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. Oki 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, Oki took first place in Women's Freestyle at the Del Mar Nationals skateboarding competition.[16] Oki 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, Oki appeared in the film Dogtown and Z-Boys.[3]

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

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

Since 2011, Oki 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]

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



  1. ^ a b c "Peggy E Oki". California Birth Index, 1905-1995. FamilySearch.
  2. ^ a b Ryder, Caroline (22 April 2015). "Dogtown legend Peggy Oki is fighting to protect our oceans". Huck Magazine.
  3. ^ a b Hamm, Keith David (1 December 2002). "The Z-Girl in the Skateboard History Books". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ "Sadako OKI". Los Angeles Times. 15 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Ben Oki". The Rafu Shimpo. February 2018.
  6. ^ a b Weber, Kerry (4 July 2012). "Vegetable Shredder – Peggy Oki". Vegan Skate Blog.
  7. ^ a b Olson, Steve (1 February 2002). "Dogtown Chronicles, Volume 3: The Zephry Team – Peggy Oki". Juice Magazine.
  8. ^ Nishiyama, Maki (6 May 2016). "Q&A: Peggy Oki". Bad Things Apparel.
  9. ^ a b c Marcus, Ben (27 March 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 28 October 2019.
  13. ^ LaRochelle, Sasha (9 June 2005). "Peggy Oki". Sasha LaRochelle. Archived from the original on 10 November 2005.
  14. ^ Nentwig, Lee; Constantinou, Theo (1 October 2014). "Propelled by Passion". PARADIGM. Archived from the original on 14 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Peggy Oki". DogTown. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Ambassador: Peggy Oki". Newf Surfboard Net. Retrieved 28 October 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 (3 April 2015). "Dogged Advocate". VIVA.
  19. ^ Vos, Inger (3 February 2016). "Local kids help skate star support Maui's". Raglan Travel & Visitor Information.
  20. ^ Indy Staff (24 November 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 15 January 2015.
  22. ^ Weinreich, Troy (16 June 2012). "Peggy Oki - Skateboarding Hall of Fame 2012". Skateboarding Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2015 – via YouTube.

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