The New York City Inline Skating Guide
Where to Skate: Rinks
There were few indoor rinks in the city to begin with, and unfortunately, due to a variety of factors almost all closed during the 2005-07 period. For info about that one rink and some others nearby but outside the city limits, the New York Times has an article in January 2011 which you might want to read.
Inline skaters should note that roller rinks which have wooden and other non-concrete surfaces often have a restriction on skates which might damage the floor. Usually this is in regards to exposed bolts in the frames, but there might be issues with glass fragments on other crud that might become embedded in your wheels when skating outdoors.
Rink no longer exists. After about ten years of use, the rink and skatepark on Pier 62 were ripped out in 2006. After several years of work, the pier re-opened as part of the Hudson River Park facilties, but while it includes a new skatepark, there is no rink.
There is a smooth concrete rink in this public park, just northeast of the football/soccer field. It doubles as an ice and roller rink, with open rollerskating during the summer. Although the rink is partially open to the elements (there is a roof and a clear, plastic fence about six feet high), sound doesn't seem to disperse much and it can get pretty noisy.
The rink can be crowded with many folks from Harlem, Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights, the neighborhoods across Riverside Dr. The atmosphere is very much that of a local rink, with the usual collection of skate rats zipping around randomly at knee level, early forays into courtship rituals by teens, etc. Riverbank also hosted rollerhockey sessions, but this may vary year to year.
Admission in 2009 was just $1.50 per session, and skate rental was $6.00. Check the park website for a one-page PDF with info about hours, special sessions, party rates, etc.
The famed dance/roller club on West 18th St. closed in spring 2007. It re-opened briefly under the name "Club 515" but then closed permanently.
Wollman Memorial Rink
Central Park Loop (east side) at approx. 63rd St.
Famous for the ice skating here during the winter, this rink used to be converted to roller use from April through October. As of 2009, it had been been at least five years since Wollman offered any sort of summer skating program at all. Instead they have turned the rink into a mini-amusement park during the warm weather months.
The property was sold and the rink closed permanently in April 2007.
Kate Wollman Rink
Prospect Park (east side near Lincoln Rd. entrance);
The park's Lakeside Center complex will include two outdoor rink areas, one of which will be opern for roller skating in summer. However, as of early 2013, the complex is still under construction/renovation and is not expected to open before autumn 2013.
Salvation Army Gym
110 Kosciuszko St. (near Nostrand Ave.), Bedford-Stuyvesant.
As of early 2013, hosts roller skating Wednesday nights. Contact the Crazy Legs Skate Club for more info.
236 Richmond Valley Road, Tottenville
Rink newly opened in July 2007 and renovating in early 2013. And unless we've lost track of things, RollerJam has been the only indoor, year-round roller rink in the city almost since it opened.
Reported to be a bit small and has a non-wood floor, but has plenty of leather couches for relaxing on when off your skates. It already seems to have become fairly popular and is drawing good crowds.
The Key was a rink in the Mott Haven neighborhood. It was closed permanently in March 2006 due to public nuisance problems (e.g., under-age drinking and gang-related activity).
14 Merrick Road, Lynbrook
Located at the corner of Merrick Rd. and Rocklyn Ave., close to Ocean Ave. It's about halfway between the Lynbrook and Rockville Center stations on the Long Island Rail Road, about three quarters of a mile from each. Merrick Road is very busy and the rink located on a curve, so trying to skate to the rink from the train station is probably a bad idea. Consider cabbing it if you have taken the LIRR.
Alternatively, the MTA's N4 bus travels along Merrick Rd. and stops alongside the rink; you can catch the bus where it and the subway E train both terminate at Jamaica Center.
As of late 2011, there is a new "adult nite" session on Thursdays featuring DJ Big Bob from the Central Park Dance Skaters.
United Skates of America
1276 Hicksville Rd. (Route 107), Seaford; 516-795-5474
Located about a mile and a half north of the Massapequa LIRR station.