Archives for February 2014

Speeding On To Greatness

Texas Speed ClubApolo Ohno is an eight-time Olympic medalist on the short track speed skating team. Did you know that he started his career on speed skates? Playland Skate Center offers weekly speed skating classes and practice to those of you that have Olympic dreams – or even just a dream to have fun and get fit!

What is Speed Skating?

Speed skating is the sport of racing on either roller skates or ice skates around a 100 meter track. It’s a pack-style sport – you’ve got to maintain a low body position and learn how to maneuver your way in and out of the pack to beat the rest of the skaters across the finish line. While roller speed skating is not an Olympic sport, it’s where many of the Olympic ice speed skaters got their start.

Learning to Speed Skate

Learning to speed skate takes time, determination, and dedication. Experienced skaters make their powerful maneuvers look effortless, but those moves have come from hours and hours of practice. We welcome all levels of speed skaters to our classes! The coach of the Texas Speed Club, Ed “Sonny” Felter, will teach you speed skating drills, techniques, and put you through endurance training so that you can condition your back and leg muscles to improve your endurance and speed.

Speed Skating for Beginners

Our beginner speed skating class is every Friday night from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. It is free to first time students, we only request that you bring a helmet. We will even provide you with a pair of inline skates to try out!

The Texas Speed Club

Playland Skate Center is proud to host the Texas Speed Club at our Austin, TX skating rink. They offer both inline and quad speed skating for your entire family! They are a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the sport of quad and inline speed skating. They train to participate in short track indoor speed skating competitions sanctioned by USA/RS and NIRA throughout the year.

We’d love to see you come out and try on a pair of speed skates at Playland this Friday night!

America’s Presidents, America’s Past Time

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to host our scheduled Presidents’ Day skating sessions due to the change in school schedules, but we still took a moment of our time to celebrate the great leaders of our nation, and we even found some that have a roller skating addiction themselves!

Here you can see President Carter with some of his “besties” headed out to go roll around the White House  gardens. What better way to enjoy the view of America’s capitol building than on wheels?

Presidents on Roller Skates


Dwight Eisenhower was a lifetime skater. From his earliest days playing football, he just couldn’t bear the thought of removing his beloved roller skates so he figure out how to kick with them on! Throughout his Presidency, Eisenhower was often found rolling through the White House instead of walking.

dwight-eisenhowerThese images are courtesy of Emma. What did you do to celebrate the great leaders of our nation on Monday?

3 Ways to Get Kids Active

KidsSkateFree.comThis winter, have you noticed that your child has become sedentary? Instead of going outside to play, they’ve stayed on the couch watching TV shows, or playing games on the computer? Springtime is just about here, and now is the time to get up, get out, and get active. Playland Skate Center has 3 ways that you can encourage your kids to get out and play in Austin, TX. 

1. Try Out a New Sport

Have your kids ever done anything athletic? Ask them what sport they wish they could be a pro at, then enroll them in a team in your local community, or encourage them to try out for their school team. Team sports are a great way for your kids to stay active and meet a group of new friends, that will help encourage them to come out and play.

2. Turn it Off

Every afternoon, designate 2 hours off “turned off time” in your house. This means no electronics – at all! Your kids will have to get off of the couch to find something fun to do that doesn’t involve staring at a screen. Hopefully that means they’ll get outside and play – maybe they’ll even make up a game of their own!

3. Join

The best thing about is that it’s not only fun and active, it’s free! Just sign up your kids ages 10 and younger and you’ll get two FREE passes to come skate at Playland Skate Center delivered right to your email, every week! That means that your kids will be here getting tons of exercise at no cost to you!

We hope to see you at Playland Skate Center this spring with your passes!

Texas Speed Skater in Sochi

Olympic Speed SkatingThe world is holding their breath for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. People will be watching and waiting to see if Russia can step up to the plate and deliver the performance that is expected of them. Here in Texas, we are waiting to see Jonathan Garcia, a 27 year old speed skater with dreams of Olympic gold, from our very own big state of Texas!

Garcia got his start as a skater on wheels. He was a competitive inline skater showing promise for the future. After his first inline skating title in 2004, Garcia realized that he could shoot for higher goals. Facilitated by Olympic skater Derek Parra’s WhIP (Wheels on Ice Program), Garcia moved to Salt Lake City to start his training on ice. And now, we will be watching him compete among the best skaters in the world in the long format race.

This is just one of those stories that proves, no matter where you’re from, what your background is, or what your surroundings look like, motivation, drive, and hard work can get you anywhere you want to go! Who knows, maybe we’ll see you competing at the next winter Olympics in 2018! In the meantime, come on out to Playland Skate Center and try out your speed skating skills with our team, the Texas Speed Skaters! 

Img via Flickr.