Aquala Moving Forward Toward the Past

After being at the helm of Aquala for 17 years, last February I decided it was time for a change. Not a change in a typical progressive way. No, a change in a completely regressive way. I know at first that doesn’t make sense, but given our almost 70-year history, the most logical way to move forward was to completely go backward.

After 7 decades of drysuit design, several designs truly defined an era. From our very beginning, the tunnel entry suit was the signature style and it reigned supreme for two and a half decades. The advent of the pressure-proof zipper and pressure compensating valves yielded a design that appeared almost suited for an astronaut. That zippered and valved suit now became Aquala’s flagship model. Then taking the functionality of the original zippered design, and pushing the envelope even further, the most recent evolution of the Aquala drysuit finally came to light.

So with three distinct generational evolutions, came our three current models. The Coronado, featuring our signature tunnel entry. The Monterey which pays tribute to that early zippered and valved creation, and finally The Cordell. A suit that takes everything that was innovative about the Monterey, and pushes it to the next level.

Once the new suit line was established, everything else needed a new look. We needed a new website, new photos, a logo revamp and help to navigate new marketing avenues that didn’t exist 17 years ago. That’s when I contacted Marc Ostrick.

I met Marc back in the Summer of 2014 when Marc was the Producer and Digital Director for Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31 project at the Aquarius undersea research station off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. DOXA watches was a sponsor, and I was there on DOXA’s behalf to deliver the watches to the habitat that were used throughout the 31-day project.

Marc, naturally being the head of Ostrick Productions, coordinated the team to make it all happen. He brought aboard his longtime friend and colleague, Michael Sean Wright of nicefishfilms to head up outreach and help us tell our story. We needed photographers, both topside, and underwater, so National Geographic and BBC underwater photographer and filmmaker Richard Herrmann was recruited to capture everything we needed at depth. For our topside photography, photographer Antonio Cicarelli captured what we needed in the studio and on location. For web development and graphics, Radley Studios was consulted. If Radley is good enough for Hershey’s chocolate, Stella Artois beer, and the National Geographic channel, then definitely good enough for us.

Now if you happen to be clicking the embedded bio-links above, you might notice one thing, everyone is based in California. Actually, there’s a reason for that. While Aquala is now based in Shreveport, Louisiana, home for all of my 46 years, Aquala got its start in Los Angeles, California.

By dialing back the style of our suits to our beginnings, I wanted everything else to have that California vibe that gave us our start. From the photography to the talent featuring our suits (naturally except for me), to everyone lacing it all together, California had to be at the core.

Over the next few months, I’ll focus on the actual gear used in the sequences, the California talent that featured them, the locations that we used and the thought behind it all. Should be a fun ride, so standby. Ty Alley

1 Comment

  1. David Jon Foster on March 1, 2019 at 5:26 PM

    Thank you for preserving Aquala and dive history. It’s so awesome what you are doing and also keeping the California roots of this historical company. I love dive history and been in the water diving since 75. I grew up watching Jacques Cousteau, Flipper, Sea Lab 2020 cartoon and all the rest. I recently filmed a scene in my feature film “Agent 11” where the agent shoots the evil Dr. with a speargun and you no know for sure I used a vintage speargun. keep up the great work 👍👍

Leave a Comment