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Staying steady on the board

With the right insurance cover in place, Moana SUP and Surf owners Toby and Bridget Wild can focus on making waves, both out on the water and in business.

While Moana SUP and Surf manufacture and supply fantastic stand-up paddleboards for fun-seekers, business hasn’t always been sunshine and smooth water for the busy Nelson company.

In August 2021, just as owner-operators Toby and Bridget Wild were gearing up for the peak summer season, Moana SUP and Surf’s storage facility just off Tahunanui Beach was set alight by arsonists.

“We lost a complete fleet of kayaks and other associated equipment,” Toby says. “The building burnt to the ground. All that was left was a molten lump of plastic sitting amongst some twisted tin off the roof.

“It was a gut-wrenching moment, but we had a lot of really good support from the community, and Rachel Foulsham, our broker at Crombie Lockwood jumped on board straight away.”

Within a few days, they put in their order for six Kiwi-made kayaks and seat replacements, and they replaced the shed with a secure, purpose-fit shipping container.

Just as the sport started to take off in 2011, Toby began manufacturing a range of inflatable and solid boards.

Insurance cover with convenience

“[Our business] is a big part of what Nelson is about over summer,” Toby continues. “Rachel knew the importance of us getting up and running again, not only from our point of view but from our customers’ point of view as well.”

Being a multi-faceted business, Moana SUP and Surf has a lot to consider when thinking about comprehensive cover. This includes both national and international shipping for their boards, their retail store and satellite storage spaces, and indemnity insurance for the tourism side of the operation.

All of Moana SUP and Surf’s insurance considerations are covered under the company’s SMARTpak insurance. Toby says having Rachel able to bundle all the required coverage into one SMARTpak package makes for a simple yet robust solution, allowing him and Bridget to focus on getting people out on the water.

“Having someone there to talk you through the process logically and professionally, but in a really caring way, was important to us,” Toby says. “I'm an outdoors person – I’m not a keyboard person. Having that personal service is key. It's worth more than you realise.”

Rachel Foulsham says Crombie Lockwood’s SMARTpak is a fantastic insurance solution for businesses like Moana SUP and Surf.

“SMARTpak allows Moana to operate with confidence. Toby and I have a full review yearly, usually over coffee and Tim Tams, but I also check in periodically to ensure nothing has changed in the interim,” she says.

Moana SUP

“It was a gut-wrenching moment, but we had a lot of really good support from the community and Rachel Foulsham, our broker at Crombie Lockwood, jumped on board straight away.”


Toby Wild, Moana SUP and Surf

The perfect spot for sport and safety

Toby has long been a keen surfer, but after breaking his back he struggled to get back into surfing. Then some friends introduced him to stand-up paddleboarding.

“I was looking at a way that I could continue my passion for being in the ocean,” he says. “Paddleboarding helped me do that.”

Just as the sport started to take off in 2011, Toby began manufacturing a range of inflatable and solid boards.

“We made a few, sold a few, and it blossomed from there. For flatwater paddleboarding in particular, the climate in Nelson is amazing.”

Toby believes Nelson is also the perfect spot for water safety lessons.

“We train kids and adults to understand the ocean a little bit better: the risks, but also the fun they can have out there,” he says. “I’ve been an outdoor educator for most of my working life, so the opportunity to put people out in the water is number one on the agenda for me.”


Published November 2022