The victim, 62-year-old Martin Kane of Perth, Australia, was saved by an incredibly brave friend who was also in the water south of Mullaloo Beach, where the shark encounter happened.
"I seriously thought it was a row of dolphins smashing into the ski," Kane told reporters. "What really confused me was the extent of the noise and the crunching sound, it really surprised me, I really didn't know what it was until I saw the fin and realised it was a shark."
He continued, "Soon as I saw his tail and thrashing around with the ski coming right out of the water, I said it's time to get out of here so in defiance I threw my paddle at him and started to swim away. At that moment I thought I was gone."
The force of the shark impact actually thrust Kane upward before the stunned surf skier began to swim.
Surf Lifesaving WA's Paul Andrews confirmed the attack, saying that it was forceful.
"The paddler leading the group (Kane) was attacked by a shark which hit with great force sending him flying into the air," Andrews said. "The shark had a go at the ski and his comrades in arms came and picked him up and took him back to shore."
Andrews added, "The guy that actually picked the person [being attacked] out of the water paddled past the shark to go and pick his mate up. It's an extremely brave act to firstly paddle past a shark of that size and pick his mate up, so his act of braveness is courageous, there's no other way to put it."
The Fisheries Department in the area has now dispatched a boat with crew who are searching for the shark. If found, it will be tagged and tracked.
There's little doubt that a huge shark, again probably a great white, is in the area. A nearby fisherman also reported that a great white bit into one of his crab pots.