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In-liners have online choices

The Tampa Bay Area Recreational Skating Guide takes in-line skaters into the local scene with club listings, events, schedules and tips.

Before skaters glide too far, however, check the Rollerblade page for the correct semantics. Rollerblade, Inc., popularized in-line skates faster and farther than anyone in the country as the only company in the market for some time. The corporation makes it clear on its home page that there are no such terms as "rollerblading" or "rollerblades," although they are commonly used to describe in-line skating.

With the Pinellas Trail and soon-to-be-completed Gandy Bridge Trail, in-line skaters can consider themselves in paradise. The sport has attracted millions of participants since it broke onto the American sports scene some years ago. In-line skating actually dates to when a Dutchman conceived the idea of in-line skates in the 1700s to simulate ice skating in the summer.

Skating Info's text-only pages deal with the history of the sport and offer tips on equipment, techniques and basics.

SmallKids SkateGuide is geared toward getting youngsters safely into well-fitting skates from a variety of markets at reasonable prices.

Inline Skating Jargon brings neophytes up to snuff on the proper terms, to avoid embarrassment on the trail.

HandiLinks to Inline Skating lists other links, but the most comprehensive links site is at NerdWorld, with pages and pages of links to skating.

Yahoo!'s merchandise site is full of top-line or bargain equipment for beginners and advanced skaters.

Florida Sports In-Line is a magazine site providing information on events, clubs and activities in south, central and west Florida.

The Ramp is another beginners' site, with tips on equipment, how to use it and safety checks.

SURFERS DOT COM: The Tampa Bay Devil Rays' Web site (http://www.devilray.com) drew 625,068 hits (visits by surfers) during Opening Day on March 31. Average daily hits before that was 70,600, still a strong showing. ESPN SportZone's NCAA basketball and Major League Baseball packages set records for online sports with 1.38-million visits in one day, averaged more than 1-million daily visits and attracted 8,991 questions to Dick Vitale's March 10 basketball chat session. The CART racing Web site (www.cart.com) offers live timing and scoring of its races, webcasts from its radio network and live driver interviews.

Phil Gulick can be reached by e-mail at Xerxes6juno.com, aol.com or Xerxes prodigy.com

Skating the Web

Tampa Bay Area Recreational Skating Guide: (http://pw2.netcom.com/ esantman). Local info on fitness, recreational and group skating.

Skating Info: (cooper.edu/organizations/ clubs/blade/geninfo.html). Text only history and backgrounder.

SmallKids SkateGuide: (skatefaq.com/kids.html). Get the youngsters safely into the sport.

Inline Skating Jargon: (kryptonics.com/jargon.html). Get your terms in line, too.

HandiLinks to Inline Skating: (ahandyguide.com/cat1/s/s753.htm). List of links.

Yahoo! Merchandise Site: (yahoo.com/Business-and-Economy/Companies/ Sports/Skating/Inline-Skating/). Huge online shopping mall.

Rollerblade: (rollerblade.com). The original site.

NerdWorld: (nerdworld.com/nw737.html). Most comprehensive links site to the sport.

The Ramp: (lifetimetv.com/WoSport/SPORTS/ INLINERSK/I-lskate.htm). Basic information for the beginning in-line skater.

Florida Sports In-Line: (http://floridasports.com). South, central and west Florida site for events, clubs, activities and other information.

Hardcore Inline Skating: (aggressive.com/inline/). Chat sessions, BBS, product reviews and a separate page for females.

In-Line FAQs: (skatefaq.com/). Answers to everything you ever wanted to know about the sport.

(All addresses are preceded by http://www. unless noted).

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