HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A surfer's GoPro Camera captured a startling sight - a great white shark leaping out of the water.
Drew Palumbo and his friend were surfing at Sunset Beach in Huntington Beach on Monday when the shark went airborne, flying out about 100 feet away.
Palumbo said he was paddling toward a wave and pressed record on his camera. That's when the shark suddenly appeared in front of him.
"Right off the back, kind of behind a wave, as we were paddling out, and it was pretty spectacular," he said.
He made a hasty retreat back to shore after that.
"Once it went horizontal and you could see the whole shape, I instantly looked over at my friend and said, 'OK, this is not typical,'" Palumbo said.
Huntington Beach lifeguards had put up signs warning beachgoers following another shark sighting over the weekend.
Dr. Chris Lowe, professor and director of the CSULB Shark Lab, says his students tagged 16 sharks near Sunset Beach last summer.
Lowe says juvenile sharks, like the one spotted in the video, may breach to get parasites off their body.
"One reason they may jump and slam down is to try to dislodge those from the body. The other possibility is that they just do it for fun," he said.
Whatever the reason, Palumbo says his front-row seat was spectacular and nerve-wracking all at the same time. But, he says it won't be enough to keep him from surfing here again.
"It's just like a part of the wildlife here, so you just have to be aware when you're out there," Palumbo said.