Clubs and Leagues: Rec, Fitness, Speed and Dance
Following is a list of and brief comments about area clubs that are interested in the recreational, fitness, speed and dance aspects of inline skating.
Group that organizes regular evening indoor skating sessions late fall to spring at the Salvation Army gym on Kosciuszko St. in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. More info is on the rinks webpage.
Brooklyn Speed Team
A group of inline speedskaters who can be found training on the Prospect Park Loop, with regular training sessions late Sunday mornings, April through September. Although many are also affiliated with the Empire Skate Club, the Brooklyn group have their own team colors.
A union of quad and inline skaters who have been skating on the "Dead Road" in Central Park since the late 1970s. The CPDSA officially organized in 1995 to fight the city's newly imposed limits on group sizes and sound systems absent a permit. In the two decades since, with the cooperation of the Parks Department, they have set up a sound system with DJ-selected music for dance skaters on weekend afternoons, roughly 1:00 to 6:00, mid-April through October, except when the park is hosting a special event.
Central Park Skate Patrol
Perhaps the oldest formally organized skate organization in the city, formed in the early 1990s and for a time a part of NYRSA (see below). They are a volunteer group who provide free stopping clinics at the West 72nd St. (Strawberry Fields) entrance to Central Park on Saturday afternoons April through October, offer paid lessons at other times during the week (typically Wednesday after work and Saturday mornings), and may tour the park loop looking for skaters and other park users in trouble.
Skating organization formed in early 1997 to replace the defunct NYRSA (see below). Empire primarily serves recreational, fitness and speed skaters, with group skates, skate tours, etc. Empire sponsors NYC's oldest group skate — the Tuesday Night Skate — but its biggest activity is a weekend-long fest (typically the first weekend of August) called the Big Apple Roll, with multiple group skates over four days. They also organize travel to other East Coast cities during the year — including Miami, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. — for those cities' big group skate events.
For more about some other Empire events, see the group skates page.
This is the speedskating and more serious fitness skating part of Empire. Group training sessions on the Central Park loop occur on weekday evenings, April through September, but you may also encounter them on weekend mornings. Just look for speedskaters wearing the same blue-and-orange jersey or skinsuit design. During winter (November through March), some of the group move indoors to a roller rink for fitness and technique coaching. (Since late 2011, indoor training has been at the Branch Brook Park rink in Newark, NJ.) Some may also participate in USA Roller Sports indoor racing.
Announcements about Empire Speed activities are most reliably found on their Facebook page.
Long Island Rollerblading, Travel and Sports Association (LIRTSA)
Group in Nassau County out on the Island who used to organize races, back when their name was "Long Island Road and Track Skating Association". Although they're no longer big racers, they do still organize weekend clinics and summer group skates.
New York Road Skaters Association (NYRSA)
No longer exists. NYRSA was the NYC inline organization in the early and mid 1990s, sponsoring group skates, organizing races, and running a rollerhockey league. Originally known as the Big Apple Road Rollers, NYRSA maxed out with a membership in the high hundreds, perhaps into the thousands including participants in the rollerhockey league it ran for a year or two. But growth was apparently too fast and spending definitely too much. The club was in debt by late 1995 and quietly went out of business sometime the next year.
Wednesday Night Skate
See the group skates page.