Intrinsic Flow

Conveniently for Tomáš, a lot of awesome biking destinations also have world-renowned fly fishing, including his home in the Czech Republic. Tomáš casts for carp during one of his few shorts stints at home.

Intrinsic Flow From the River to the Racetrack with Tomas Slavik

When Tomáš Slavík gets stressed about an upcoming race, he goes fishing.

When he wants to decompress after a competition, he does the same. When he prepares for an upcoming trip, he packs his fly rod first, then his bike.

“When you’re fishing, you don’t think about anything else other than fishing,” Tomáš says. “You don’t think about bikes, and you don’t think about racing. It’s what really makes me relaxed.”

And if anyone can appreciate relaxation, it’s Tomáš. The 29-year-old professional mountain biker is one of the best and most decorated 4X racers in the sport, having won everything from the 4X World Championships (twice) to the 4X Pro Tour overall (three times). And when you compete in more than a dozen competitions a year, you need something to help manage the pressure.

The first time I worked with Tomáš was in 2011, while shooting photos on assignment in Bali for the movie Signatures. Until then, we didn’t really know each other, but in the years since we’ve worked on countless projects together, traveling the world and riding bikes in some pretty special places.

During that initial trip, it was clear Tomáš has a lot of drive. As a photographer, working with an athlete who puts so much effort into every shot not only makes for unparalleled results, but also makes for a damn good time as well.

You don’t have to join Tomáš for a photo shoot to see his motivation—it’s obvious in every race and every ride, but such drive comes at a price. Stress has cost Tomáš more than a few tumbles, but with each struggle he’s pushed himself to more impressive heights. And, from fly-tying to BMX to 4X, it’s that persistence and boundless energy that have taken Tomáš to where he is today.

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