PEGGY OKI Peggy Oki



2/10/2001 @ Old School Skate Jam 2001

photo © Glen E. Friedman photo © Glen E. Friedman photo © Glen E. Friedman
©o'mahoney

Since her skating days with the Z-Boys, Peggy Oki went on to UC Santa Barbara to study environmental biology, eventually receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Painting at The College of Creative Studies (UCSB). (She got around campus, primarily by skateboard.). The theme of her paintings reflect the landscapes, seascapes, and marine mammals that she loves. With her more recent activity of rock climbing, she includes images from her climbing trips to Joshua Tree.

Still surfing, now for over 24 years, sheís travelled to Fiji, Mexico, South Africa, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Japan, and Tonga, Hawaii, New Zealand , Australia, and Costa Rica.

She has a greeting card business representing her artwork, and occasionally freelances in graphic design. As a fine artist sheís exhibited in over 40 group exhibitions, and more than a dozen one-woman exhibitions.

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This interview below is from WWW.AUDRYMAGAZINE.COM

Choose one word to describe yourself.
I donít think of myself in terms of one singular trait. For the most part, Iíd say I strive to [follow] the teachings of the Buddha and the Dalai Lama. Because of the impermanent nature of things, how could one word describe a human being?

What does it feel like to be a pioneer for young skaters/surfers?
I never intended to be a pioneer in anything that I did. Iíve always been motivated by seeking to do fun things. So my answer would be that, as an afterthought, itís nice to know that people see me that way, though that wasnít my intention.

What are some of the challenges youíve faced as a skateboard/surf pro and as an activist?
I didnít like the skateboard contests back then because of the politics involved. Winning wasnít always because you were the best skater with style. Iíve seen this with surf contests, too. That really turned me off to contests. I do things because I have fun doing them, and going to the contests and experiencing the politics wasnít fun for me. As an activist, the challenge is to not be discouraged by what could be an overwhelming feeling at times. [For example,] the Japanese government funds commercial whaling, killing hundreds of whales each year, some of which are endangered species. The United States Navy was just exempted from the Marine Mammal Protection Act, [allowing ships] to deploy a device that emits deadly low frequency active sonar, which is known to kill marine mammals.

How did your family feel about your career choice?
My father was pretty cool about [my] riding motocross, surfing, skating, etc. He was either neutral or a bit on the supportive side. As for my mother, she always vocalized her opposition to my doing those things.

What have you been up to since your skating days?
I pursued my education in field biology and fine arts at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I have always had a deep love for nature and animals. Iím an activist focusing for the most part in protecting dolphins and whales from the numerous ongoing threats that cause their deaths annually by the thousands. Iíve also done a lot of travelling for surf. Iíve been to Mexico, Costa Rica, Japan, South Africa, Fiji, French Polynesia, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia. Now, after basically 25 years of skating on everything other than a few mild slopes, Iím very excited to return to skateboarding.

Do you still keep in touch with the members of Dogtownís Zephyr Skating Team?
Since leaving Santa Monica to continue my education, I had not seen all but two of my teammates in more than 25 years. As a result of the film Dogtown and Z-Boys, Iíve seen all my former teammates at screenings and skateboarding-related events. A few of us have communicated in the past couple of years. Itís always good to see the guys. I have fond memories of those times when we all skated together. So seeing them nowadays is almost like a family reunion to me.

What are you most passionate about?
Thatís a tough one. I am equally motivated to do a few things: yoga, aerobic activity, skateboarding, surfing, rock climbing, cycling and playing the viola.

Click here for Peggy's webpage displaying her art.

WHALING NEEDS TO STOP!! CLICK HERE FOR AN IMPORTANT NOTE FROM PEGGY

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