Our mission is to help people across the globe experience the breathtaking beauty of the great outdoors and the restorative powers of nature through kayaking. We aspire to make kayaking accessible to more individuals, regardless of age, injury or ability, and to provide solutions that enable experienced kayakers to continue their passion for years to come. We envision a world where kayaking becomes a transformative way for people to connect with nature, themselves and others.
We treat others as we wish to be treated.
We recognize and respect the inherent worth of every individual and reject attempts to label people based on their ability, race, gender or age.
We strive to give personalized service, recognizing that an investment in our products has the potential to create life-changing experiences.
We maintain a commitment to honesty and integrity in every aspect of our operations and business relationships.
We aim to keep our pricing fair, charging only what is necessary to keep our business, family and employees sustainably comfortable.
Founder & CEO
Meg McCall is an outdoor enthusiast who loves to hike and partake in any activity associated with water. She spent the first decade of her career in the non-profit sector, with a focus on supporting with people with physical disabilities. For the next 15 years, she worked as a marketing executive for software and technology companies in both the public and private sectors, helping drive tremendous growth at companies like Mindbody.
Meg knew a good thing when she first saw a prototype of what is now the Versa Paddle. It was developed by her father, a retired mechanical engineer, who designed it so that he could continue to enjoy kayaking in his twilight years. The two partnered together to fine-tune the design, patent it and manufacture it, with Meg heading up the business side of Angle Oar LLC and her father, Jim Van Gompel, serving as Chief Product Engineer. In the years since then, Meg has developed and patented several additional products and begun distributing them worldwide.
"I find being out in nature, whether it's walking through the woods, climbing a mountain trail, or being out on on the water in a kayak, to be profoundly uplifting. I want everyone to be able tap into these powerful feelings and experience the beauty all around them. That's what drives me to continuously improve our products," she says.
Meg is based in San Luis Obispo, California where she lives with her husband and two young adult children. You can read her LinkedIn profile.
Cathy Webster has been informally collaborating with Angle Oar since the beginning. It was one of her physical therapy clients who was the first to try what is now our Versa Paddle. “I remember when we finally got the prototype for the paddle, and we went out on a November day to try it. That’s when the experience became an adventure,” she says.
In 2023, Cathy joined Angle Oar as a Clinical Consultant where she serves as a technical expert and resource for individuals, adaptive programs and other organizations who want to learn more about adaptive kayaking or are considering our products. She is an American Canoe Association Level 2 kayak instructor with Adaptive Kayaking Certification.
Originally from Canada, Cathy lives in Vermont where she works at Physical Therapist at the RehabGYM in Colchester, Vermont. She is also the program manager of the Adaptive Kayaking program of the Northeast Disabled Athletics Association, one of the most robust and well-run programs in the US. In the summer of 2016, the program began with just two people. Now, Cathy is booked five days a week and the program has expanded to 150 people a summer, with many participants paddling multiple times throughout the season. In addition to outings around Vermont, Cathy partners with other organizations in the Northeast to put on adaptive paddling workshops in their communities.
“Adaptive Kayaking has really filled a void in the community of disabled people. Many people want to do things but can’t and end up going for a ride or just watching something. The nice thing about (an adaptive) kayak setup is that people who are profoundly disabled are able to kayak independently,” says Cathy.
Jim Van Gompel
Co-Founder & Chief Product Engineer
Jim Van Gompel (1930 - 2019) was a lifelong outdoorsman and retired mechanical engineer with dozens of patents to his name. He loved fishing, hunting, boating, painting, gardening and anything associated with nature.
At age 78, despite struggling with several major health issues, he refused to let his love of paddling fade away. While he enjoyed fishing and being on the water, he became easily winded due to his severe asthma and heart condition. The energy required to paddle just wasn't worth the payoff, so in his customary fashion, Jim set out to create a more efficient method of paddling. That's when he came up with the revolutionary idea for what he then called the angle oar. By designing the shafts to angle downward and taking the weight of the paddle off the his hands, shoulders and core, he found he could paddle for much longer distances with less effort. This innovative solution allowed him to continue enjoying his passion despite his health challenges.
Jim passed away in 2019 at age 89 shortly after driving himself in the snow to the nearby ER on his rigged up custom scooter that carried his wheelchair! He wouldn't have wanted it any other way! You can read Jim's obituary here.