Utah isn’t exactly synonymous with ocean conservation. Or so you thought.
On Tuesday, World Oceans Day, I represented Oceana at Ride the Wave, a skateboarding event in Salt Lake City hosted by Utah native supermodel Ali Stephens and her mother Julie Stephens (pictured here towering over me.) T-shirts designed for the event were sold for Oceana’s benefit.
As the sun set over the mountains surrounding the city, several bands played while professional skateboarders ollied, grinded and kickflipped to the audience’s delight. (Yes, I may have just googled “skateboarding terminology.”)
Ali then told the crowd her compelling ocean conservation story, and why she decided to organize Ride the Wave. Before she was scouted in a Salt Lake mall, she wanted to be a marine biologist. Though she now jets to Paris, Milan and the Canary Islands for photo shoots, she still feels compelled to help protect the seas.
After I said a few words about Oceana, Ali presented two skateboards to me for Oceana -- one handpainted by Ali and friends.
This event was almost certainly the first of its kind -- combination ocean conservation and skateboarding in a state whose only salty body of water is a lake -- and I think everyone had a great time.
You can see more photos from the event at the Elite Model blog.