Chris Davidson has been remembered as one of surfing's most naturally talented athletes, following his death on Saturday in an alleged one-punch attack.
The former surfing star died after being punched outside a pub on the NSW mid north coast, with the alleged attacker refused bail in court.
Police were called to a pub in South West Rocks at 11pm on Saturday and found 45-year-old Davidson unconscious on the ground.
He was treated at the scene by ambulance paramedics before being taken to Kempsey Hospital, where he died a short time later.
In 1996, when Davidson was just 19 years old, he was given a wildcard entry into the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach in Victoria. He went on to defeat American Kelly Slater in two consecutive heats.
Eleven-time World Surf League champion Slater and he is among those to pay tribute to Davidson.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"Lost another soldier yesterday. #RipChrisDavo. Had many a good battle with this guy. One of the most naturally talented surfers I ever knew," Slater said on Instagram.
Former Australian pro surfer Tom Carroll told ACM that Davidson was immensely talented.
"He was quite a character and an absolutely brilliant surfer who had a natural technique," he said.
"I knew him as a guy surfing Narrabeen, he just ripped. He had a glint in his eye and was an amazing influence on the surfers around him to lift their game."
Davidson, who grew up surfing at North Narrabeen on Sydney's northern beaches, competed on the world professional surfing tour in 2010 and 2011.
Fellow North Narrabeen local and fellow pro surfer, Damien Hardman, told ACM that Davidson had the x-factor and was gifted with natural ability.
"He'll be remembered as one of the most talented surfers to come out of Narrabeen, if not Australia," he said.
"He had natural ability from the time that I first saw him, he didn't even have to train, he was that good."
Hardman and Davidson were both sponsored by Rip Curl and travelled to exotic parts of the world, including the Maldives and Indonesia, while on the competition circuit.
Well known surfing bible, Tracks Magazine, also paid tribute to Davidson.
"Rest In Peace to former CT surfer Chris Davidson who died after an altercation on the Mid North Coast of NSW," the mag posted on Instagram.
Following the assault, NSW Police established a crime scene which was examined by specialist forensic.
Officers then arrested a 42-year-old man at a home in South West Rocks about 12.40am and was taken to Kempsey Police Station.
He was refused bail in Port Macquarie Bail Court on Sunday.