NOC Awards Astral 2014 Vendor of the Year


Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) recently named Astral its 2014 Vendor of the Year during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show in Salt Lake City, UT. The Asheville-based brand was chosen for their commitment to developing quality gear that enhances the on-the-water experience for NOC’s guides and guests, for their excellent sales representation and vendor support. The award, which is a glass sculpture designed and produced by a local NC artist, was presented to Astral’s team and their sales representation, Effort, Inc.

“Astral really stepped up in the last year to find that synergy of great product, vendor & sales representation support and ultimately sales performance,” noted NOC Vice President of Retail, Jay Curwen. “Their support of our Master Guide program—the crucible through which NOC guides pass to become truly World Class—has really elevated Astral in the eyes of the user. We are proud to have them, not only as a leading vendor partner, but as a neighbor here in Western North Carolina.”

“We’re really honored with this award,” notes Astral’s CEO and director of R&D, Philip Curry. “NOC has been a loyal partner and supporter of Astral since the beginning. Having worked as a raft guide for the NOC in pre-Astral days, I also know how dedicated the company is to the area and the paddling community.”

About Astral

Founded in 2002, Astral leads the life vest industry in innovative design and responsible manufacturing. Expanding on its commitment to serving core outdoor enthusiasts, Astral now offers award-winning footwear and an innovative collection of products made from industry scrap materials. Astral operates out of three locations worldwide: North Carolina, Vietnam, and Bali.For more information about Astral and its new footwear line, see or contact Mandy Giles at

About Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC)

Nantahala Outdoor Center is the nation’s largest outdoor recreation company. Over a million guests visit NOC annually to embark on a diverse collection of more than 120 different river and land-based itineraries, learn to kayak at NOC’s world-renowned Paddling School, travel abroad with NOC’s Adventure Travel program, test the latest outdoor gear and shop at its LEED-certified flagship retail stores or enjoy NOC’s resort amenities such as its three restaurants and multi-tiered lodging. A privately-held company, NOC is one of the largest employers in Western North Carolina and 22 Olympians including two Olympic Gold Medalists have called NOC home. NOC has been recently recognized by The New York Times as the “Nation's Premiere Paddling School,” “The Best Place to Learn” by Outside, and as “One of the Best Outfitters on Earth” by National Geographic Adventure.