Stab Magazine | SUP Pilot Faces Up To Seven Years In Prison After Assaulting Surfer With His Paddle

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SUP Pilot Faces Up To Seven Years In Prison After Assaulting Surfer With His Paddle

One swing of the paddle resulted in brain damage and a speech impediment. 

news // Apr 20, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Last year in San Diego, local surfer Kevin Eslinger experienced a hammer-like blow to the back of his head, only it wasn’t a hammer but a carbon-fiber paddle, wielded by an angry SUP pilot called Paul Konen. 

A year later, the case went to court. Eslinger contended that Konen had assaulted him, resulting in a terrible gash, brain damage, and a speech impediment that persists to this gay. He means day. 

Konen contended that he used the paddle as a means of self-defense against Eslinger, who allegedly “came at” Konen shouting, “I’m gonna kill you.”

All of this, naturally, was over a wave. 

After hearing both stories, the jury found Konen guilty of assault with a really embarrassing weapon. The smoking gun, we’d assume, was the massive hole in the back of Eslinger’s head, which would have been difficult to create if the surfer was in fact “coming after” Konen.  

SUP OceanIsle

Beware the SUP army and their carbon wallop sticks. Photo: Carolina School of Surf

Sentencing has yet to occur, but Konen could serve up to seven years in prison if the judge is a traditional surfer. 

It should be noted that this story, while funny from afar, is very real for both parties involved. Eslinger has suffered severe injuries that will continue to affect his life for the foreseeable future. Konen is looking at prison time for what was essentially a brief moment of surf rage. 

Sad on both fronts, but frankly this wouldn’t, nay couldn’t, have happened between two traditional surfers. Paddles are weapons and should therefore have their own designated areas of use. Like a rubbish dump or incinerator.


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