The partner of a West Australian surfer killed by a great white shark last year said it was painful to have to relive his horrific death during a brief inquest.

Ben Linden, 24, was surfing with a friend about 4km south of Wedge Island, about 160km north of Perth, in July 2012 when he was attacked by the five-metre shark.

Surfers in the area had noticed a large great white shark lurking in the area for about four days prior to Mr Linden's death, nicknaming the beast "Brutus" due its size.

Mr Linden was the fifth person killed by a shark off WA's southwest coast in a 10-month period.

And in the same week that abalone diver Greg Pickering survived an attack from a shark for the second time, WA coroner Barry King opened a formal inquest on Friday into Mr Linden's death, even though he said it appeared clear what caused his death.

After the hearing, Alana Noakes said Mr Linden - or Big Red as he was known by friends - is still greatly missed.

"It was hard to hear all the details but I'm glad it's over and we can just move on," Ms Noakes said.

"He was everything to so many people, not just me, and he just lived life to the absolute fullest. If just a couple of people can take that message away from this then that's wonderful."

Mr Linden's remains have never been found.

But there is permanent reminder of Mr Linden in the area, with a surfboard - etched with the words "Riding the eternal wave, always frothing, never forgotten, always loved" - placed near the spot where he was last seen.

On Tuesday, Mr Pickering, 55, was diving off Poison Creek at Cape Arid National Park, about 180km east of Esperance, when he was attacked by a suspected great white shark.

He was taken to Royal Perth Hospital where he underwent about 10 hours of surgery for bite wounds, mainly to his torso, and injuries to his face.