Joshua Holley, 28, was surfing at his favorite spot off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii's North Shore, when he felt a push on the left side of his body.
"I looked to my left and I saw this really big dorsal fin," Holley said.
"I got this popping sensation in my foot, I didn't feel the pain I guess there was so much adrenaline," he said.
When the shark submerged and came up on the other side of his body, Holley knew what he had to do.
"I'm kind of holding it and its coming out on the right side, I punched him once and twice with my right hand, it submerged and swam off," said Holley, who lives in Oahu, today.
Another surfer and a man with a body board came to Holley's rescue after the attack, and helped him on to the beach, he said.
"I'm just happy to be alive," he said. "At the time it was pretty terrifying to be attacked by a shark, not gonna lie. Instinct came in and I told the shark, 'I'm not gonna die today.'"
Holley has two severed tendons, which required 42 stitches, but the shark did not bite any major arteries, Holley said.
"It looks like a knife cut on both sides of my foot," he said.
Holley is headed back to the doctor today, and expects to undergo foot surgery as early as tomorrow.
Despite his run-in with the shark, which he described as about 10 foot long and likely a tiger shark, Holley said he isn't going to stay away from the ocean.
"Definitely, I'll be back in the water," he said. "You have to remember when you're in the ocean you have to respect the ocean, that's where they eat, live, breed; we're just visitors in their home. "
"I'm not really angry at the shark," he said. "He's just doing what he's does, I'll definitely be back."
A shark-sighting warning has been issued for eight beaches by the Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division of the city and county of Honolulu. The sightings were confirmed by public safety officials who are warning the public to stay out of the water in the area. Beach goers were advised to notify Ocean Safety Personnel or call 911 of any shark sightings.
Shark attacks on humans are often the work of tiger sharks, one of the three most dangerous types of sharks, due to the fact that they will eat almost anything, according to the site Hawaii Sharks.
The site says cautions ocean goers against being overly concerned. Shark attacks are relatively rare, it says. The chance of being bitten is less than one in a million.