The EFPT family keeps on growing. A new addition to the EFPT team as a second race director will be Tine Slabe, Slovenian RRD/Challenger rider. Known in the windsurfing world as a genuinely friendly and down to earth person, we asked Tine to talk about his experiences with the European Freestyle Pro Tour, his involvement in professional windsurfing and his brand ‘Different’.
EFPT: Why do you make the perfect addition to the EFPT team?
Tine: First of all: Hi to everyone!
I guess it is because I know the tour well from it's very beginning. For the first 5 years I participated in more or less all the tour stops and that is why I know everything about this tour. I am also very attached to the EFPT because it honestly changed my life as it offered me the perfect entry in to a professional windsurfing life. Right now, I feel I should give something back to it by trying my best that the tour continues even better than ever, so it will give the same chance to new young guys as it give to me!
EFPT: What is so special about the tour and why is it important to keep it going?
Tine: I think I answered this question already above, but still I would like to point out that the EFPT is not just a sports tour, it is more! It is a unique possibility for new entrants to the world of professional windsurfing. They experience what it means to travel, see new cultures and make new friends who share the same passion. Most important of all is probably, that at every tour stop, we show to the local kids that practicing this sport is a fantastic thing. I love to see how some of them even develop dreams to fight for! We need to keep it going!!!
EFPT: What is your experience in freestyle competition, organisation and judging?
Tine: I started my career back in 2001 when freestyle was just about to start. And that year I got my first price money with the 7th place on the Italian championship. Since than I competed until 2008 on more or less all the freestyle events of the European Freestyle Pro Tour and the World tour. I have to point out that from the beginning of the EFPT in 2003 until including 2007 I did not miss a single one of the EFPT stops.I managed to finish on the 4th place of the 2004 overall EFPT and in 2007 on the 17th place of the PWA freestyle overall ranking.
After I stopped competing in freestyle I became a judge for freestyle events. First at the Slovenian championships, where I am the head judge for the past 3 years. In the mean time I was judging quite a few EFPT events also. I feel very confident with all my competing and judging experience.
EFPT: You are also a professional athlete, now competing in slalom events. What is it that draws more and more riders also to the racing/speed side of windsurfing?
Tine: Due to the fact that I am 196 cm tall, I got always told that I would be a better racer, but at the beginning I would never listen to people. After a while my body was tired of all the crashing in freestyle. I could not follow the fast development of the sport and therefore decided to try out slalom and speed windsurfing. At the beginning, despite the fact that I was fast, I did not really like it but after a while I started to love the real competition around marks. Today I really enjoy doing my best on the slalom courses!
I guess that on one hand more and more riders are going to the racing side of windsurfing because it is much easier to learn (you “just” need to learn one move: the jibe ), on the other hand I think it is a trend.
EFPT: Your brand 'Different' is growing year by year. Who are your freestyle riders and why? Who do you want on the team in the future? (out of the freestyle windsurfing world)
Tine: Different is not just a brand is a movement! Is a community of people that have unbelievable passion for something (it really can be anything sport, art, science, music, animals…) and they follow it to the point that they achieve more, without ever forgetting about nature who gave them power to do what they do.
Perfect example is Steven Van Broeckhoven (B-72). He followed his passion for windsurfing to the point of bringing the moves and freestyle to another level. Therefor he also got his titles, but deep inside he is still passionate as he was on the first day and he is still trying to push it further.
I believe that Different people are the once to bring the world forward! Today in crises times when we hear only bad news those people are even more important than ever.
At this point I would like to invite you to our web www.different-eye.com where you can post why you are Different and maybe you might be next on our team. We really give the chance to anyone!
EFPT: Where do you see freestyle windsurfing in the future?
Tine: It is always a very difficult question to predict the future, however I believe that with personalities like Steven freestyle windsurfing will come back stronger than ever because guys like him are ready to push the sport to a new level. They showed that perfectly by adapting to tow-in windsurfing. With new and more radical moves on tow-in I see a bright future to this new freestyle discipline, as it can be run anytime anywhere. For sure we will be able to invent some new attractive formats that will bring more kids in to this amazing sport!