Coromandel surfer beats off 'pretty big' shark attack by 'punching it in the snout'

A Coromandel surfer has beaten off a shark attack on Saturday by punching the aquatic animal "in the snout".

Pauanui surf life-saving club captain Stuart Upjohn told Newshub the man was in the water around 10:30am when the "pretty big" shark had a go.

"He was surfing out the back and the shark ended up coming at him," Upjohn said.

"He ended up putting the board in the way and the shark ended up biting his board and then he ended up punching the shark in the snout and managed to get away."

The man was fortunate to make it back to shore, safe but rattled.

"He definitely had the adrenaline going," Upjohn told Newshub.

"He didn't actually sustain any injuries but he did have a good bite mark in his board."

A member of the public then called the Pauanui Surf Life Saving Club, which closed the beach for two hours.

Despite this, Upjohn said a shark attack like this was "extremely rare".

"The main message is sharks are out there all the time, they're pretty much always harmless," he told Newshub.

"If you ever come across one or get worried about one, just calmly and quickly leave the water."