Wild Things LE

Astral is proud to present the latest GreenJacket LE in collaboration with world-renowned whitewater kayaker, Nouria Newman, and painter, illustrator and muralist, Bret Brown.

Introducing the Wild Things GreenJacket LE

Astral is proud to present the latest GreenJacket LE in collaboration with world-renowned whitewater kayaker, Nouria Newman, and painter, illustrator and muralist, Bret Brown.

This limited edition design is about dreaming, overcoming fear, committing to adventure and coming back home to a warm meal and your loved ones.

Inspired by Newman’s worldwide explorations and Brown’s youthful and abstract illustrations, this LE is for anyone looking to step out of their comfort zone and return home safe.

ASTRAL  : 

You’re a world champion, have set world records and accomplished many firsts…how’s working on a ‘signature’ life jacket stack up in your life’s accomplishments?

NOURIA NEWMAN (NN) : 

It has been a really cool experience to work on a “signature” life jacket. I have never done something like that before so it was challenging, exciting and a bit scary. What if people don’t like it…

ASTRAL : 

So we’ve been working on this life jacket for a while now. Why are you excited about bringing this LE life jacket out to the public?

NN : 

I think that all the LE are super exciting. They each tell  different stories as well as mixing art with kayaking. With this LE I really tried to find a concept that everyone could identify to and Brett did a really good job designing it. 

ASTRAL : 

Tell us about the inspiration of the design.

NN : 

This LE is inspired from Maurice Sendak’s kids book « Where the Wild things are ». It’s about dreaming, overcoming fear and going on all sorts of adventures, as well as coming back home to a warm meal and your loved ones. For me that embodies a lot of what I love most in kayaking. 

ASTRAL : 

We’ve studied you in a kayak for sometime and collectively agree that you can be a monster in a kayak. Would you consider yourself a monster?

NN : 

This LE is inspired from Maurice Sendak’s kids book « Where the Wild things are ». It’s

about dreaming, overcoming fear and going on all sorts of adventures, as well as coming back home to a warm meal and your loved ones. For me that embodies a lot of what I love most in kayaking. 

ASTRAL : 

Who’s the biggest monster out there on the river?

NN : 

I guess we all have our own monsters…our own crazy dreams, fears, doubts but it’s also what motivates us. We tried to make friendly looking monsters because going to places that scare you isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

ASTRAL : 

This life jacket must be pretty fast, because we keep seeing you win races in it. How many / which races have you won wearing this life jacket thus far?

NN : 

This year I won the Little White Race and the King of the Alps which were the World Championships but I think I actually went faster paddling some steep alpine projects in my backyard. 

ASTRAL : 

What’s your relationship with art?

NN : 

I love art but I am not good at it so I just enjoy what talented people do. 

ASTRAL : 

What about Bret Brown’s art in particular do you connect with most?

NN : 

Pretty early on the idea was to have a life jacket with imaginary monsters. I Philip instantly though about his artist friend Bret who already has a lot of monsters in his work. And somehow he managed to fully understand my messy attempts to explain where this LE was going ! 

ASTRAL : 

You’ve been getting into the mountains more and more recently. Tell us about the difference between finding flow in the mountains v. on water.

NN : 

I am definitely not experienced enough in the mountains to be finding flow. For me it’s more of a constant challenge to stay focus and keep going but I really like it and I think it’s helping my kayaking. I also like the questions of style and ethics that mountaineering brings up and I think it is really interesting to somehow try to apply an alpine style approach to kayaking. France also has a lot of super talented and creative alpinists who have super inspiring projects so it has been really cool to follow. 

ASTRAL : 

You were in Georgia recently. What was appealing about that region and how was it?

NN : 

I’ve had Georgia on my mind for a few years now. Since 2019 I have really enjoyed paddling more alpine style of whitewater and it seemed like Georgia had a lot of alpine style rivers. For mountaineering the Caucasus offers a lot of amazing climbs so it was the perfect destination to bring both the skis and the kayaks. Tiphaine really stepped up her kayaking and I got really scared following her down the Ushba on skis. I guess that was pay back from when I too her down late monsoon Dudh Kosi in a packraft last fall. Maybe we need to slow down on our holidays program ! 

ASTRAL : 

Where to next / What have you been dreaming about?

NN : 

With this year’s crazy snowpack I am flying to California super soon to paddle with Sam, Anna, Phil and Rata. I am super excited about this trip ! 

This GreenJacket LE has all of the same functional and technical features as the standard GreenJacket including Foam Tectonics™ architecture, Clamshell pocket, Flotection™ impact protection, reinforced shoulder straps, and a quick release rescue belt. Swiftwater training required. 

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