ONE Staff / May 21st, 2024 / Spotlight
Gabe Talamantes NYC 2024

Gabe Talamantes is one of those skaters that’s been around for a long time but also feels fresh and exciting. He just has a unique style and good eye for tricks. We’ve long ago lost count of the times we’ve run into Gabe at events or sessions, and his status as one of the core Chicago bladers is unquestioned. But when we crossed paths at the 2023 Metro Card Classic last fall, it was pretty obvious that he’d caught the New York bug. He said something like “I think I want to move here…” and that was the last we thought about it. Then a couple months ago Gabe started posting clips from NYC sessions. Then he was posting random stuff from around the city. Then we remembered what he’d said and it clicked. Sure enough, this longtime resident of the Windy City had packed his boots and rolled to the Big Apple for a change of scenery. It seems like he’s right at home. Quickly plugging in with local friends and skaters, Gabe got to work with Sean Grossman and his recently acquired vintage Sony VX, plus Shawn Graddy on the shutter for photos as they roamed the city for spots. Now the results are here for your blading inspiration in Gabe’s first New York project, fittingly titled “NYC 2024.”

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Gabe, we’ve associated you with Chicago blading for a long time, so it was surprising to see you relocate eastward to NYC. What inspired the change?
I been a Chicago skater my whole life. Growing up in the Midwest shapes you to be gritty and deal with what you’re handed spot wise. Forces you into creativity when there’s no such thing as a perfect spot. There’s definitely good ones but there’s always something with them. When I came here at the end of the year for the NYC invite I saw the potential and fell in love with the surroundings. I just needed to be surrounded by it more. Every thing I touched in my skates was new here. Kinda like a reawakening. I didn’t want that buzz to stop.

How long have you been in the city now? Do you consider yourself a full-on New Yorker yet, or does that come later?
I’ve been here since mid February. I was able to transfer my job over here so it’s been a pretty steady process. I don’t consider myself a New Yorker. I’ll leave that to my New Yorkers but I don’t feel that out of place coming from another major city.

Christ Backslide

What was it like linking up with a new scene and exploring new terrain? How has it impacted your skating?
Honestly, most people were really stoked to have me, or just surprised to hear I moved here. Everyone has been very welcoming and I’m excited to start new projects and just have some adventures with people from here. I came into it not knowing any places or things and I haven’t gotten my bearings yet but for me it’s crucial to know my surroundings. Been biking around and getting the street names down. I don’t want to be a visitor. I wanna do my time here and do it right. People have brought me to a lot of the more popular spots down here and it made me so excited to just get some content out there as soon as possible. I have to remember that I have time here though haha

Truespin Makio

Tell us about this edit and working with different folks to make stuff. What was that like?
I had known Sean for a minute and I actually moved in with some other skaters here who do the Careen stuff. It all happened pretty organically where we were just getting clips for the Careen winter edit and Sean Grossman showed up with his “new” camera and I just filmed some whatever ledge tricks. From there I saw that footage and that was a wrap. I knew I had to just keep it going at least just for fun. This was just an idea for it to be a brief “yo I’m here now, sup?” type of edit And here we are.

Did Sean have spots in mind or did you just explore and capture everything on the fly?
I like to approach my stuff a little more like the second option, but this time since I am new here I was basically chauffeured. Sean and other people in the chats would post spots and in my head I would just be thinking “I could probably do this here.” I would talk to Sean and we would just make that happen. Other things were just ideas but all the spots were brought to me, lol — I had never been here before so it just played out that way.

Torque Soul

How long did it take you guys to capture the tricks you wanted to showcase? What clip took the longest, and which are you most happy with?
I captured my first clips on the 3rd of March and got my last clips on May 11th. There was no real time frame once the project started ‘cause we already had over a minute of footage from the first two times we got out, so I just wanted to make it good and keep going. Filming ended on the 11th cause I took an L and my rib took a beating on the rail in the second to last clip. The clip that took the longest though is probably the back royal up the ledge. That ledge is relatively low but it’s steep. I had to get a bunch of speed to get up it to launch into the stairs. This day I had already had my skates on for 5+ hours so it was rough. The ground was brick and it had moss growing out of the cracks so I kept slipping trying to sprint to the ledge. This was mostly defeating but we got it done. I later had a panic attack the whole way home on the ferry cause I was dead from exhaustion. As far as my favorite clip though, that’s tough. Probably the last one just because when I did it and saw it back I knew that the section could just end with that. This coincided with the day I broke/displaced my rib so yeah that was my happiest

BS Royale to Stairbash

Any good sidebar stories from those sessions that are worth sharing? Or did security give you their blessing everywhere…
Surprisingly, even after watching the section back, you just made me realize no one kicked us out at any of those spots. Other than the zero wallie topsoul bench spot but that was a luxury housing condominium. The security guard came out and told us to leave. We didn’t leave immediately and I got the trick a few minutes after. Other than that, the Chinatown red up ledge is very difficult to skate. It had just rained, and usually that playground has around 20-50 kids — no lie — just running around. We skated it maybe a total of 25 minutes and it went from no kids back to 50 in that amount of time.

Savannah to Roll

What about your setup? What all are you riding on now, and why did you choose the various components?
I skated various models of Roces Fifth’s cause I have ten pairs of Fifth Elements that I had purchased. Roces sent me the last pair I’ve been on (purple Nils), and that has been my go to with Intuition premium liners, waxed laces, Kizer 5s, and rolling 8 down with the support from the homies at Orange Wheel Company. I choose all the components specifically ‘cause it’s an overall perfect skate for me. I like the weight to it. I like the how thick the walls are on the Fluid and how rigid it is. The OWC wheels literally last me forever rolling flat and they just know how to pour a good wheel over there. The Intuition gives me the support I need with the Roces ‘cause the shell does have a good amount of flex and the taller liner just dials it in for me.

Sweaty to Royale Transfer

How do you balance skating for fun with the expectations of companies that send you gear? Do you have any personal guidelines that help you keep things real?
I just am confident at this point with what I’m doing and how I do it. All skating to me is for fun. I’m not going to do something on film I wouldn’t enjoy tbh. I still do tricks for me, I just hope people dig it in the end.

I’ve seen you post about repairing City Bikes for work, is that right? I’ve seen videos of people just destroying those things! What’s the most messed up repair you’ve had to do?!
Haha, these bikes come in really fried sometimes. There’s not a lot I haven’t seen. There’s some bikes you just look at and you go “this person is not alive right now.” There’s not much to these bikes though, and if they’re totally compromised we don’t send them back out.

Topside Mistrial

So far what have you recognized as the biggest not-so-obvious differences between Chicago and New York?
I haven’t really gone out a whole bunch, but I did notice something: Chicago has a ton of Mexican restaurants and it’s hard to find a good Mexican spot here. Lots of places here are Puerto Rican and Dominican but I just want an $8 burrito spot to call my own.

Soul to Fountain Transfer

What do you hope people feel after watching your edit?
I hope it would make them want to skate. I hope they would want to show it to people who don’t skate and pass that feeling along. I wanted it to be fun to watch and have rewatch value.

We don’t think that’s going to be a problem. Thanks again to you guys for your hard work!

[The END]

Photos by Shawn Graddy

Edit by Sean Grossman

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