Astral, manufacturer of industry-leading PFDs and footwear, is proud to unveil its latest limited edition lifejacket, the LE Heron GreenJacket: a tribute to the iconic Green River that has played such a formative role for Astral, its employees, and whitewater kayaking as a sport. Astral will donate 10% of all proceeds from the lifejacket to the Green River Access Fund, which works to maintain permanent public access to the river.
Located just south of Astral’s Asheville headquarters, the Green River is perhaps best known for “the Narrows”: a stretch of highly technical whitewater that is the site of the Green River Race, considered by many to be the pinnacle of whitewater racing in the southeast. Since the first official descent of the Narrows in 1988, the Green River has played a formative role in many paddlers’ lives, including Astral Founder & CEO Philip Curry, who was among the first few groups to run the Narrows consistently in the early 1990’s.
“It’s like you have a knot in your soul or your mind and [the Green] just loosens it and it’s gone,” says Curry of the Green’s effect and its significance in his own life. “You finish that river feeling so clean and refreshed. Mentally, spiritually, and physically.”
The latest of Astral’s perennially popular Limited Edition lifejackets, the Heron GreenJacket honors the Green River and the communities served by its waters. The design reduces its environmental impact by repurposing fabric and materials leftover from previous PFD productions. A heron embroidered on the back panel of the jacket honors the true keepers of the river and the spirits they represent. Astral will donate 10% of the Limited Edition Heron GreenJacket proceeds to the Green River Access Fund to help fund the future parking lot and river access on Gallimore Rd.
“In the beginning the Green was considered one of the hardest runs done. Now it’s one of many training grounds for what is considered hard,” says Shane Benedict, co-founder of Liquidlogic Kayaks and President of the Board for the Green River Access Fund. “The significance of that is that at some point you will see just about anyone who has ever committed to paddling in a large way come through the Green River at some point in their life…The Green River Community is home because so many of us committed everything to the river, the area, and the people that made that same commitment.”
Since 2002, Astral has been on a mission to protect the maximum amount of soil and water and create products that elevate your experience in Nature. Astral is strategically operated from Seattle, Portland, Austin, Asheville, Salt Lake, Bend, Denver, and Saigon.