Skate ParksINTELLECT ROLLERS REALM Turn off the Sega, and grab yourself a cold Mountain Dew. Intellect RR is a classic indoor skate park in the X-Games sense. With 20,000 square feet of ramps, there is bound to be something to fit any skater's needs. It's also one of the few places in the area where you can still find a vert ramp. Think Tony Hawk. A helmet is required for those under 18 years of age; other pads are optional. Although the park rents helmets, their quantity is limited. Also, those under 18 must have a waiver on file, signed by a parent or legal guardian. No private parties, no scooters. Waiver and more info available on the Web site. Located 30 minutes north of Austin, on Hwy. 29. From I-35, take Hwy. 29 west for 10 miles. From Hwy. 183, take Hwy. 29 east for 0.8 miles. The park is inside the large green warehouse on the south side of the highway. www.bestofaustin.com/irr/ Monday and Wed-Fri, 3-10pm; Saturday, noon-midnight; Sunday, noon-7pm; closed Tuesdays. 10355 Hwy 29, Liberty Hill. 512/515-7600.
AUSTIN RECREATION CENTER The city of Austin has, thus far, exhibited a rather closed mind on skateboarding, rollerblading, and generally having a nice time by way of human-powered transport in our fair city. University of Texas, for example, simplifies the process by prohibiting any kind of skating, period, campuswide. In a town famous for its active lifestyle and health-conscious culture, odd contradictions exist, with laws stating that "No person upon roller skates, or riding in or by means of any coaster, toy vehicle or similar device shall go upon any roadway, except while crossing a street on a crosswalk." ('81 Code, 11-2-9). You would figure that the city might offer some respite to all those earnest, law-abiding skaters doing figure eights in the crosswalks and fortunately they finally do. Thanks to the determination and hard work of Austin's skateboarding community, plans are under way for a gigantic outdoor park near Ben White & Woodward. Fundraising is still under way however, and support is needed. See Tekgnar's listing under "Equipment & Accessories" for more info. For now, however, the only city-sanctioned area for aggressive in-line skating or skate boarding is at Austin Recreation Center. This small outdoor park, tucked away behind the tennis courts, offers a few good ramps and grind rails. Free and open to the public. Inline skates and skateboards only. Watch for errant tennis balls. Mon-Fri 10am-9:30pm; Saturdays, 10am-4pm; Sundays, 1-5pm. 1301 Shoal Creek, 476-5662.
CALVARY SKATE PARK Owned and operated by the Calvary Church, this smallish outdoor park has a basic street course. You can grind rails or catch some air on the launch ramps. The nice folks over at Calvary open the park for free and no pads are required. Amen to that. Riders do, however, need to sign a waiver. Contact John Newberry for details. Saturdays, 4-8pm (more hours will be added for summer). 9414 Parkfield. 719-4667.
THE VELOWAY This three-mile loop is perfect for endurance skating, offering a wealth of fine Hill Country scenery and enough in the way of inclines to keep you panting. At over 20 feet wide, the track offers enough room for everybody. First-timers should be sure to wear protection. Some of those hills are a lot steeper than they look. Open to cyclists and pedestrians, as well. From dawn to dusk. S. Loop 1 near Slaughter. 499-6700 (Austin PARD office).
Skating RinksROUND ROCK ROLLER RINK RRRR is a no-frills skating rink where you can get reacquainted with your roller-roots, or get involved in some serious roller hockey. They offer three different levels for both adult and youth leagues during summer. Who needs ice? Summer youth and adult hockey leagues: 7 & under, 11 & under, and 14 & under (youth) A, B, and C level adult leagues, "A" level being the most competitive. Call rink for more info or go to www.austinhockey.com. Also, the rink is available for private parties for youth groups. Costs includes rollerskates; rollerblade rentals are $2.50. First Monday of each month is Christian music night. rrrr.home.texas.net/index.htm Mondays-Thursdays, 6-8:30pm, $3.50; Fridays, 6pm-10:30pm, $5.50;Saturdays, 2-4:30pm $4.50 and 6-10:30pm, $5.50;Sundays, 2-4:30pm, $4.50. 15501 N. FM 620, 218-0103.
SKATEWORLD NORTHWEST If you're interested in learning the fine art of roller-figure skating, Skateworld is the place. They boast a roster of coaches with both years of experience and national titles to boot. Venice Beach, circa 1980, more your thing? Head to Skateworld first. And if you're looking for a little more contact, they also offer a whole load of hockey instruction, in addition to regular leagues. Beginner figure skating classes are held Saturdays at 10:30am ($4 per person). Classes run for half an hour and the fee includes two hours' skating time (11am-1pm). Rental skates are included in the price and both roller and in-line skates are welcome. www.jump.net/~dandom/ Mondays: 1-4 pm, $3;Tuesdays-Thursdays, 11am-4pm, $3.50; Tuesday & Thursdays, 6:30-8:30pm, $2; Wednesdays, 11am-4pm, $3.50; Fridays, 7:30-11pm, $5; Saturdays, 11am-10pm, $5; Sundays, 1-4pm, $4. 9514 Anderson Mill. 258-8886.
PLAYLAND SKATING CENTER Playland is a classic skating rink in the, well, classic sense. You can take the kids, or just a date during Adult Night. They've got everything from an actual deejay to fire up the "Hokey-Pokey" to a huge glittering roller skate/disco ball. Couple's skate anyone? They rent skates (quads), or you can bring your own (in-lines fine). They also offer birthday parties; reservations required. Tuesdays & Fridays, 4-6pm, $4.50; Tuesday nights is Adult Skate Night (adults only), 7-10pm, $5.50; Friday & Saturday nights, 7-11pm, $6; Saturdays, 3-6pm, $4.50; Sundays, 2-5 pm, $4.50. 8822 McCann. 512/452-1901.
MILLENNIUM YOUTH ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX The shining, relatively new facilities of this Eastside gem offers Austin skating rink in a multiplex of entertaining possibilities. Skaters have the chance to get in some rolls between showings of recently released hits in the movie theatre or after bowling a few strings in the alleys. The complex also features a video arcade and food court. www.myec.net Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 3-9pm; Saturdays, 1-7pm. $3.50 for kids, $4.50 for adults. Inline rentals are $5.50. Sundays & Wednesdays, $2 quad skate. 1156 Hargrave. 472-6932.
Equipment & AccessoriesTEKGNAR Formerly Blondies, this Austin institution has been around as long as most of the old folks have been skating. They cater specifically to skateboarders and offer Austin's best selection of decks, gear, and accessories around. As Austin's local pro-skating faction, call these activists on wheels and ask them about plans afoot for a city-sanctioned skateboard park. 305 W. Martin Luther King Jr. 472-7343.
PHAT CHANCE SKATE SHOP Your north source for skateboards, clothes, shoes, and accessories. In-lines? Fat chance. Boards only. www.phat-chance.com. 208 North Mays, Round Rock. 244-7799.
CALIFORNIA BOARD UNDERGROUND Taped precariously to the door, the desperately scrawled scrap of notebook paper read, "Gone to Taos, back in two weeks." This pretty much sums up CBU's laid-back approach to the business of business. They try to be there Monday-Friday, 11am-5:30pm, but don't guarantee it. CBU is more of an office for their overseas snowboard venture, and as a result, tend to sell a lot of sample products and clothing, all at incredible discounts. Catering only to skate and snowboarders. 900 N. Lamar. 474-9830.
PLAY IT AGAIN SPORTS A perfect place to pick up your first pair of skates. Play It Again carries aggressive in-line skates and your typical rollerblades, all cheaper than new. Ben White & S. Lamar (next to Target) 444-2270. 2933 W. Anderson, 451-8976.
SUN & SKI SPORTS EXPO Carrying a wide range of skateboards, rollerblades and equipment, this national chain has it all. 2438 W. Anderson. 467-2782.
ResourcesROLLER HOCKEY There are so many hockey leagues, from pick-up games, to full-on competition, with changing times and locations, that it's impossible to list them all. The best bets are to call a skate shop or rink and ask for information. Some good places to start are:
FRITZ BLAW Infamous for his Motorblade Postering Service, rolling from Austin bulletin board to Austin bulletin board, and generally keeping the general public well-informed about this town's cooler doings, he also gives skating lessons in technique, stunts, and hockey. (see story above.) 323-5457. email@example.com.
AUSTINHOCKEY.COM Offering a slew of information on both roller and ice hockey in the Austin area, you can't beat 'em for a resource. www.austinhockey.com/.
AUSTININLINE.COM Another good Web resource. Oriented more towards in-line specific events, they offer a local calendar and several links to area resources. www.austininline.com/.