Our Story

Born with a passion for watersports and adventure.

Our story starts first and foremost: we are adventurers. We like exploring off the beaten path. Travelling means to us, go to new places, experience new cultures, make new friends. We also love wingsurfing, windsurfing and surfing. And we love New Zealand. Mostly though, we love seeing people enjoying themselves as much as we do.

What better way of combining all these passions than having a business, that enables people to see New Zealand the way we want to see it and share it with visitors from all over the world.

Water Nomads was born out of this desire in 2018 as a humble concept: offering long-term rental of quality windsurfing equipment for international visitors. Soon we added performance surfboards to our rental fleet and we have grown since to become New Zealand’s premium Wingfoil, Surf and Windsurf centre for long term equipment hire.

Soon though it became clear that we could offer so much more: Realising how hard it can be to break into a new unfamiliar spot when you have limited time we came up with our Surfari Trip packages in 2019.

Our strong knowledge on wind, weather, tide, access and hidden dangers introduces seasoned riders to new unfamiliar places and maximises our guests water time. What started out with a humble wave sailing trip to Taranaki for a few locals has now become a staple offering. Our most popular destinations remain Taranaki, the Far North and the Canterbury Lakes. For 2024 we have added the Great Barrier Island!

Supporting local regions and their businesses, Water Nomads provides the ultimate experience: come a stranger, leave a friend.

Water Nomads New Zealand | Heidi


Growing up on the shore of Lake Constance, Germany, as soon as Heidi could hold the boom of the first Windsurfer she was hooked. And the youth trophies attest to her passion for the sport. For uni, she hence decided to move to Kiel, Germanys windsurf capital.
During and after her uni years, she never missed an opportunity to explore Europes coastlines in her trusty van, searching for waves and adventures.

In a spontaneous moment of fate, in 2009 Heidi found herself in New Zealand, backpacking out of the back of her ageing Subaru with little more than a surfboard and a mountain bike. The six month journey left her in awe of the stunning and diverse coast, but more important to her, she found a variety of people with an outlook on life that resonated.  It was barely 18 months later that she returned as a New Zealand resident.

Becoming established was easy.  The Auckland harbours with east and west coast beaches provided Heidi with an unlimited opportunity to windsurf and surf like she had never known before. It seemed almost natural that Heidi became a Starboard and Severne Team Rider for NZ Boardstore. Though her desire for adventure didn’t stop in New Zealand. Now, there was the Pacific to explore! The learnings of air travel to remote destinations with lots of gear was quick. With it was the realisation of the absence of any dedicated windsurf centre anywhere in New Zealand, meaning people had to bring their own gear.

Heidi’s concept was simple: create a long term WingsurfWindsurf and Surf hire outlet, no restrictions on where or when. In other words, rent your equipment and take it on your journey with you, a week, two weeks, three… And not clumsy, old, well beaten learner boards either. The latest premium equipment from top brands that any intermediate/advanced/pro rider would feel well at home on.

Heidi founded Water Nomads in 2018, starting to share her new backyard with the world. 

Water Nomads New Zealand | Bevan


Growing up in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, the city/rural/backcountry were all at Bevans fingertips. Though it was the wilderness of the South Island that captured Bevan's heart early and defined him. Ever since he can remember, venturing into the unknown was normal. He loved hiking the backcountry, learning the limits of oneself physically and mentally. With his adventurous spirit, Bevan developed a keen eye to record stunning places and beautiful moments which founded a long standing passion for photography.

Eventually though, New Zealand became small and seemingly suffocating, the Kiwi OE (overseas experience) beckoned. Hitching and traveling Canada in the thick of winter for six months snowboarding, Bevan formed an appreciation for warm company in wild places. Before long though, the funds dried up and London became an antipodean nest and gateway to the finer trappings that Europe has to offer: fine food, wine and Belgian beer. After nearly five years, there was something missing, that raw wilderness – New Zealand…

Returning to NZ, Nelson became the new home, a backcountry hiking and mountain biking heaven. After four years a career choice brought Bevan to Auckland, and it didn’t take long before Bevan was introduced to the world of windsurfing. A holiday on Maui was a steep learning curve, but his water-starts were perfected. 

It quickly became apparent to Bevan that New Zealand lacked a specialist hire centre for water-sports equipment. Especially for the bulky windsurf gear. Excess luggage costs were increasing, baggage allowances shrinking, and the gear damage liability of airlines impossible to recover. There had to be a better way to help the international traveler to make the most of their journey to far flung New Zealand.

Teaming up with Heidi – Water Nomads was formed.

Water Nomads New Zealand | Tiaki

Tiaki means ‘to care and protect’ in Te Reo Māori and this Tourism NZ  campaign gives tips on travelling responsibly while in New Zealand. 

Whenever possible we will use re-useable items rather than disposable ones to save waste.