Shocking footage has captured what appears to be an adult surfer punching a teen after the two crossed paths while attempting to ride the same wave on the Gold Coast.
It's believed the incident took place in the water at the popular Snapper Rocks surf break near Coolangatta in front of stunned onlookers on Monday.
Video shared by surf publication 18seconds shows the young bodyboarder attempting to catch a wave at the same time as the older stand-up surfer.
The bodyboarder paddles for the wave, then the other surfer paddles from behind and takes the inside position. The pair end up colliding.
As the pair come to the surface the video shows the older surfer throwing punches at the bodyboarder, hitting him in the head at least twice.
Fellow surfers can be heard shouting at the adult to stop as the outburst unfolds.
"He's just a kid, dude. You're twice his age," a female can be heard shouting.
Another surfer paddles over to intervene, throwing a punch himself at the first surfer and telling him to go in to the beach.
Editor of 18seconds Andy Morris said people dropping in on each other is a "daily occurrence" at Snapper Rocks.
"Usually everyone just moves on," he told Yahoo News Australia.
"However this incident escalated quickly. In this case the bodyboarder is called into the wave by all the other surfers in the takeoff zone. The surfer snakes him from around the back and claims the wave - then has a go at him for dropping in on him."
Social media observers shocked
The video attracted quite a reaction on Facebook and Instagram with dozens jumping in to stand up for the boy, and condemning the act of violence.
"Some pumping waves today. Dust-ups too. We don’t condone violence. It’s never the answer," the caption to the 18 seconds video read.
"Punching a kid multiple times in the head because he drops in on you on a 3-foot wave is weak and embarrassing at best," one wrote on Facebook.
But some suggested the boy was "dropping in" on the surfer's wave.
"Clearly the kid made a mistake, no way to handle it! Not as if he will never catch another wave again," one wrote on Instagram, adding "take a chill pill fella".
It is surfing etiquette for the rider on the inside to have the right to a wave and for others not to drop in. But surfers on social media argued as to who got to the wave first.
"So if you watch the first 2 seconds of the clip you see the bodyboarder was on the inside, and the surfer snaked him on the take off," he pointed out.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.