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 Saturday afternoons during the prime skating season from mid-April to mid-October (but probably skipping Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends).
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.
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.
Fliers from individuals offering private instruction can 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, in 2004, IISA essentially closed down (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 program also had disappeared.
A new organization now called the Skate Instructors Association (Skate IA) formed in an attempt to fill the same need as the IISA instructor and certification program. 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.