A Day In The Life Of…Tine Slabe


Tine Slabe is a big guy and a big character from a small country called Slovenia, close to the Italian border in the Adriatic Sea’s Gulf of Venice. At 90 kg and 1.96m tall Tine is larger than most modern freestylers, although he’s also turned his hand to Slalom and waves in 2006, showing an impressive 5th place at the Red Bull Stormrider in Israel. Here 26-yr old Tine gives us an insight into his lifestyle and preparation methods for pro competition.


‘Luckily I come from the coastal area of Slovenia, and yes, a lot of people don’t know that we have a coastline, but we do despite it being only 43 km long! My home spot isn’t really a windy area, so I don’t get to train much when I’m back in town, although of course I try to catch every windy moment going, especially in the summer.

At home I do a lot of computer work, go running and try to have fun with my friends. This means that most of the time I have to travel to windier places to train.  Even when travelling I work for a bit in the morning, then go windsurfing for few hours, have a break for some food, and then go back out on the water until the evening. For me the evening is the best time to sail and train, then, after eating, I collapse!

During events I’m a bit different and wake up as late as possible, because I like to get the maximum possible rest, then eat breakfast and go to the beach. I’ll be checking my equipment is all ready and then wait till the start of competition.

I do go on the water before my heats, but just to check if I have the right sail size, and I never do moves before my heat if competing in freestyle. Then, once the green flags up, it’s the time to explode! Sometimes it goes better that way, and sometimes worse, but more or less that method usually brings me my best performance. In the evening I usually go out for a bit to relax, but not till too late.

For training out of the water I run and now I’m starting a gym programme too. Besides that I’m always thinking about things I could change to perform better and how to prepare myself mentally. Another technique I use is to try new tricks in light winds with a big board and small sail to get the feeling for the steps involved with completing a move.

Outside of windsurfing I’ve spent the last couple of months setting up a new company selling specialized software, and I’m looking to import some windsurf brands into Slovenia too, and have applied for aid and an administrative role for when Slovenia takes it turn to govern the EU.

I’m in quite a dilemma about whether competing takes enjoyment away from my windsurfing experience, especially in Freestyle. I find it hard being limited to just 5 minutes or so to give an expressive performance, but since I tried Slalom for the first time last year I must say that here the competitive element really brings a big enjoyment to the sport. All in all, at the end of the year and after 15 competitions I’ve had enough of competing and really need a break!

Also, like most of the guys on tour, I handle my own contracts, plan my own trips, and expenses, which takes a lot of time and energy, so I’d be really happy if
somebody could do that for me!

For the last four winters I’ve trained in Cape Town and stayed with a friend, as the place is amazing for training in everything - waves, freestyle and slalom. Sometimes I go to Egypt, because it’s cheap but it’s only good for freestyle preparation. The rest of the time I’m competing – oh apart from the F2 and Naish photo shoots, which I always enjoy!

There is nothing to compare windsurfing with work. I don’t really like working although it can sometimes be fun when you solve a difficult problem or earn good money, but it will never be as fun as a good days sailing that stays in my mind for ages and perhaps forever!’

Hvala lepa Tine!

© PWA / Brian McDowell