Indus™ Review w/ Andrew Holcombe

Andrew Holcombe shares his thoughts on the all new Indus™.

Andrew Holcombe is an absolute legend in the world of whitewater. Two-time Green Race Champion, three-time US Freestyle Kayak Team Member and one of the nicest guys on the water. Andrew is a sales rep for Effort Inc and Astral in the Southeast region. Watch his review on the Indus™️ and read his interview with Astral below.

ASTRAL // What’s the largest volume or pushiest river you’ve ever paddled? 

AH // That’s a good question and actually two different answers.  The most volume I’ve ever been on is in the range of 125,000 – 150,000 cfs on the Slave River.  A couple of the pushiest things I’ve ever kayaked are the Linville Gorge at 3.1ft, some of the gorges on the Devils Postpile of the San Joaquin at high water last year, and then I have a very distinct memory from back in the day of paddling the Silver Fork of the American at a level that I’m not sure I’d care to do again.

ASTRAL // You’re one of smoothest and cleanest kayakers we know. When’s the last time you swam? 

AH // It’s been a minute since a full swim.  I honestly don’t really remember the last time, it’s been at least 10 years since I’ve quote pulled the loop. I’ve had some pins within the last year or two that I was able to pretty much get out directly onto the rock/shore.  A lot of that has to do with that I’m not pushing myself super hard all the time anymore, just some of the time:).  That’s part of why I’m excited for the Indus as it keeps that door open for me a bit longer as I get older.

ASTRAL // What features of a life jacket are most important to you? 

AH // Fit and range of motion.

ASTRAL // You’ve said that because of the fit and comfort of the Indus™ you’ve begun to wear it ‘all the time’. Freestyle, creeking, river running, low and high volumes. Can you describe the way it fits you and what makes it that comfortable? 

AH // That’s true, I’ve been wearing mine for all types of paddling.  I like the way that the volume/buoyancy of the jacket is down low around my waist.  That keeps the upper part of it really low profile which allows for a pretty incredible range of motion when paddling.  It also makes it feel really snug on your body.

ASTRAL // The Indus™ was designed for big water class V kayakers. Who else do you think will enjoy the benefits of High Flowt™? 

AH // Raft guides, people in the rescue industry, and actually anyone else that is interested some additional buoyancy.  I think raft guides will really appreciate the sleekness of the upper part of the jacket, its not gonna get in their way when they’re moving around.

ASTRAL // A lot of folks are surprised that the Indus™ doesn’t have the same clamshell pocket of the GreenJacket™. Yet it still has significant storage. What do you keep in your life jacket? (please list out the individual items that make up your pin kit!) 

AH // I’m pretty sure this could be a topic of discussion as that clam shell pocket has sort of become synonymous with Astral Rescue PFDs.   I find the Indus pocket to be plenty big enough for what I need immediate access to.  I currently carry 2 carabiners, 2 pulleys, 2 prusiks, a knife, and a whistle without any issues at all.  I also add in a skull cap during the winter.

Interview with Andrew Holcombe. Photos courtesy of Effort, Inc.


With 22 lbs of flotation sculpted into Astral’s industry leading FoamTectonics™️ architecture, the Indus™️ is the world’s first freestyle-inspired high float life jacket.

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