Byron Bay was closed from Belongil to the Pass for three hours yesterday afternoon after a 71-year-old man was attacked by a shark on his surf ski.
The Byron Bay Surf Club veteran was knocked off his board at around 11am but calmly clambered back on, assuming he had run into a pod of dolphins.
Arthur Vidgen told local media it was only when returned to shore that he noticed a 30cm bite mark on the back of the board.
He added that lifeguards were quick to close the beach once they realised what had happened.
Two lifeguards on jetskis patrolled the beach, warning swimmers to get out of the water and searching for the shark but failed to find it.
The beach was reopened about 2pm.