The New York City Inline Skating Guide
For new inliners looking for a free lesson in how to stop, the Central Park Skate Patrol hosts a stopping clinic at the West 72nd St. entrance to the park on weekend afternoons from 12:30 to 5:00 during the prime skating season (mid-April to mid-October, but skipping Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends). The Skate Patrol also runs a skate school during the summer months.
Over in Riverside Park, the Parks Dept. has in the past offered the Riverside Skate School, with instruction for all ages and aggressive skating lessons for those interested in that skating style. Meeting site was at the skatepark at 108th St. Check with the park manager at (212) 408-0250 for more info.
Perhaps the oldest skate school in town is Joel Rappelfield's Roll America. Joel's been teaching inline lessons since the late 1980s. Call them at (212) 744-4444 or check out the Roll America website.
Lezly Skate School is operated by one of the most prominent members of the Central Park Dance Skaters Association. See the website or call (212) 777-3232 for more info.
NY Skateout seems to have an extensive lessons program for skaters of all ages, with activities centered on Central Park. Check their website for lots more info.
Starting in 2011, skate|NYC offers private, semi-private and group instruction at all levels in Central Park and in Hudson River Park. Check the website for info or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fliers from individuals offering private instruction can often be found on bulletin boards at skate shops. Many personal fitness trainers also offer inline lessions. Be sure to check the instructor's qualifications, i.e., whether they are certified by USSG or Skate IA.
In the early days of inline skating, the only certification process for inline instructors was provided by the International In-Line Skating Association. However, at the end of 2004, IISA essentially folded its tent (they called it a "restructuring" or "right-sizing"), and the instructor program was said to be taken over by USA Fit. Unfortunately, by January 2007, the USA Fit inline website was off-line and no further information was available.
Another group called the Skate Instructors Association (Skate IA) formed in an attempt to fill the same need as the IISA instructor and certification program. (Note: The program was known as tme United Skate Schools Group until about 2009.) Much like the old IISA program, Skate IA has two levels of certification. Level I means the instructor can teach the basics, and Level II means that she knows how to teach more advanced skating maneuvers and tricks.