Stand-up paddleboarder charged with assault with a deadly weapon

April 15, 2019 | Surfing
Stand-up paddleboarding: considered a vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard | Photo: Creative Commons

A stand-up paddleboarder has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly hitting a 56-year-old swim coach and surfer with a paddle.

On June 26, 2018, Kevin Eslinger and Paul Taylor Konen were surfing at Sunset Cliffs, in San Diego, California.

After an altercation and exchange of words between the two, Eslinger was attacked by Konen. The aggressor used his paddle to hit the victim's head.

The local waterman ended up with a broken skull but somehow managed to swim back to the shore by himself.

He spent two days in the hospital, unable to speak, and initiated a long, yet unfinished road to recovery.

According to the prosecution, on the day of the attack, Konen forced Eslinger to duck dive to avoid being struck by Konen's paddleboard.

Konen argued that "if I can catch a wave, it's mine."

Shortboard vs. SUP

The statement violates the golden rules of surfing etiquette and highlights a chronic issue between shortboard surfers and longboards and stand-up paddleboarder.

The victim told the authorities that, a few minutes after the first altercation, the aggressor knocked his wife of her board while the couple was having fun in the water.

When Eslinger asked Konen why he did that, Paul Konen hit him with his paddle and forces Kevin to leave the water with a fractured skull.

The attack ended up affecting the victim's speech and his teaching jobs at El Cajon Valley High School and and Heartland Swimming Association.

Kevin Eslinger is a popular local waterman. In 2005, he paddled 120 miles from Santa Barbara to Ocean Beach in 29 hours and 31 minutes.

Do you own a stand-up paddleboard (SUP)? Have in mind that, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, a SUP is considered a vessel.

Take a look at eight common sense rules that every stand-up paddleboarder should follow.

The Summer Surf Gear Guide 2019