About Astral

Bird's eye view looking down on green lush forest and river running through it with kayakers

Letter from our Founder and CEO

In 2002, I began Astral. We were deeply committed to building the best performing products for wilderness athletes, and we focused on building them in the least toxic, lowest impact way. I loved creating a company where cool, creative people could work together to benefit soil and water.

Since then we’ve grown a lot and done good things along the way. We basically eliminated toxic PVC foam from the PFD industry, invented breathable life jackets, won awards for our paradigm changing footwear designs, and we’ve developed the stickiest rubber ever worn on wet rock – just to name a few.

In the most simple terms, we are athletes, artists and craftspeople. With your support we will continue to build the cleanest, most beautiful and highest performing products you can buy.

Philip Curry, Founder + CEO

Our Journey

1999

Philip Curry, Astral Founder + CEO, sold his first business to Patagonia, traveled and then became a biodynamic farmer. A question lingered: Could he protect more land and water by farming a small farm, or by getting back into the outdoor equipment business?

2002

Astral began on a biodynamic farm outside of Asheville, NC in the headwaters of the Rocky Broad River. Astral introduces four life jackets made from PVC alternatives; recyclable polyethylene, phthalate free NBR, air and organic kapok.

2004

Astral sponsors the 7 Rivers Expedition. In memory of Charlie Beavers, the TDub crew completes every major High Sierras river expedition in one season for the first time.

2005

Within 3 years of introducing our PVC-free life jackets, the entire life jacket industry follows Astral away from the use of toxic PVC.

2008

Astral discontinues the use of highly toxic chloroprene (aka Neoprene). Astral Introduces Airscape as a patent for the world’s first breathable life jacket. Astral Introduces Foam Tectonics™, which sets a new paradigm for fit and performance amongst whitewater paddlers. Our infamous GreenJacket and BlueJacket use this technology.

2009

As the last PFD factory to leave the USA, our founder moves to SE Asia to live next to the factories that built our products and learns how to make shoes.

2012

Serving a critical need for better performing river footwear, Astral introduces 4 ultra performance shoes named for the working class of Porters, Bakers, Brewers, and Rasslers. They all use 5.10 rubber, ~70% less glue, and no heat to manufacture. Kayakers and raft guides destroy them. Astral’s first shoe, the Brewer™ wins Outside Magazine’s Gear of the Year Award.

2014

After 3 years of testing to surpass the high benchmark set by 5.10, Astral introduces our proprietary compound, G Rubber™, in the outsoles of our shoes.

2015

Astral introduces the Loyak™. Raft guides, kayakers and minimalist shoe enthusiasts immediately fall in love with its low volume, high performance, superlative grip and chilled out looks.

2018

Astral’s Loyak™ is awarded Best Water Shoe of the Year by Outside Magazine. National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Jennifer Phar Davis discovers the TR-1 shoe series and becomes a loyal advocate.

2020

Acutely aware of the quantity of plastics that end up in our rivers and oceans, Astral switches the majority of our shoe’s upper materials to hemp or 100% post-consumer recycled materials.

2021

Astral completes the rigorous bluesign® third-party certification process and introduces the most environmentally friendly PFDs on the market, the Ceiba™, V-Eight™, E-Ronny™ and E-Linda™. All featuring the world’s first bluesign® certified PFD shell.

Astral archetypes, Nouria Newman and Aniol Serrasolses, win Female and Male Riders of the Year. It is Nouria’s fifth consecutive year winning Rider of the Year.

Astral opens their Seattle Headquarters and moves to a new office in Asheville, further cementing their coast-to-coast presence in the industry. 

World record breaking big wave surfer and waterman, Garret McNamara learns about Astral’s use of hemp in shoes and becomes an ambassador and advisor.

Our People

Astral Lara Banker

Lara Banker

Sr. Marketing Manager

Caitlin Bjornstad Team Member

Caitlin Bjornstad

Community Manager

Astral Philip Curry

Philip Curry

Founder & CEO

Astral Jenn Pharr Davis

Jennifer Pharr Davis

Long Distance Trail

Astral Ken-Kaplan team

Ken Kaplan

CFO

Astreal Cooper Lambla

Cooper Lambla

Creative Manager

Astral Jack-Lui team

Jack Liu

Product Development

Astral Baylor Manning

Baylor Manning

National Accounts Lead

Astral Ben Marr

Benny Marr

Whitewater Kayaker

Astral Michelle Martini team

Michelle Martini

People & Culture

Astral Garrett McNamara

Garrett McNamara

Big Wave Surfer

Astral Emily Murray

Emily Murray

Dealer Support Specialty Account Lead

Astral Jason Michelotti team

Jason Michelotti

CMO

Astral Nouria Newman

Nouria Newman

Whitewater Kayaker

Astral Regina Nicolardi headshot

Regina Nicolardi

Photo Editor

Astral David Orr team

David Orr

CRO

Astral Bryan Owen

Bryan Owen

Sales Manager

Astral Aniol Serrasolses

Aniol Serrasolses

Whitewater Kayaker

Astral Ollie Smithers

Ollie Smithers

Sourcing Manager

Astral Thor

Thor

CSR

Astral James Trombley

James Trombley

Operations Manager

Astral Anna Walsh

Anna Walsh

Graphic Designer

Astral Daniel Windam

Daniel Windham

Product Line Manager