Fresno City College Becomes a hot Spot for Roller Skaters


Photo by: Aroara Trimm

Isabel Dieppa (right) skating with a friend at downtown Fresno’s cultural arts district park.

Fresno City College has had its fair share of roller skaters riding around campus lately, bringing back it’s wacky funky fresh aesthetic and all of it’s glorious 80s appeal.

Now you might be asking, why is this a thing on campus all of a sudden? Especially with what’s been going on with COVID-19? To that I can safely say, it has a lot to do with the pandemic.

You see, it all began with a group known as the Fresno Skate Party founded by Isabel Dieppa. She initially created the Instagram page to reach out to local skaters after businesses were opening back up. 

Dieppa moved to Fresno in December 2019 right before the pandemic hit and when everything started to reopen again she realized that she’s been living here for two years now and didn’t have any friends.

A lot of us can agree that making friends isn’t the easiest thing to do, but for Dieppa, it is as simple as creating a post on social media. 

In fact, Dieppa said that consistent posting of their skating activities accompanied by popular hashtags on social media helped the Fresno Skate Party grow. 

Friends that had their own connections, helped spread the word using their own influences and platforms. 

“It’s been kind of like a very organic, slow process of me being super extroverted and being like ‘I’m gonna start this!’, ’Ima take your picture, is that okay?’ and my friends being like ‘okay yeah sure you can take my picture’ and then starting to go out and meet people,” she said.

Still though, why FCC of all places and the tennis courts at that? Dieppa said that when it comes to skating, especially roller skating, people tend to fall a lot and the smoother flooring of the tennis courts is a lot less painful to fall on versus the rocky concrete.

There is also a mental health aspect to the creation of the Fresno Skate Party, according to Dieppa. 

“COVID-19 had me very depressed and anxious, so I really wanted to find a way to meet people because I am extroverted. So yes, it is just to come out and roller skate, to have fun, to meet people, but there is also a mental health aspect to being able to have some form of social interaction with people that feels safe,” she said.

Because the Fresno Skate Party is still a growing community, you can see a largely positive attitude that strives for inclusivity with the hopes of bringing people together with skating.

Former FCC student Karen Martinez said Dieppa approached her as she was practicing one day on campus and invited her to the skate party. 

Ever since joining, Martinez said her most favorite part about participating is that everyone there is so encouraging.

So whether it’d be at the FCC tennis courts or the cultural arts district park, two of the many places the Fresno Skate Party tends to practice, anyone can show up one day out of the blue during their events and just start shredding, according to Dieppa.

In hopes for the future with the Fresno Skate Party, Dieppa has just submitted permits for a larger skate party in downtown Fresno and hopes that once all of that has been sorted, they can officially have an event on a larger scale.

For the event, Dieppa is planning to have DJs and food trucks so that it feels like an actual party.

Fresno Skate Party has come a long way from being about a couple friends posting their skate adventures. Now it has a locally known online presence that hosts skate parties for the community to beat on-going pandemic depression.

And thankfully here at FCC, they have a place to practice and express themselves through skating.