• Meg McCall

The 2020 Adaptive Paddling Season in Review: Annual Customer Satisfaction Results & Highlight Reel

Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a banner year for kayakers. Some took advantage of the situation to spend a lot more time in their 'yaks. Others invested in adaptive equipment they'd previously tried via an adaptive kayaking program for themselves. And a lucky few paddling programs found creative, safe ways to get new paddlers on the water for their very first time.

In honor of this most unusual year, we put together a short highlight video featuring many of our customers.

In addition, we just completed our third consecutive year-end annual customer satisfaction survey. We asked every single customer from 2020 to participate, and 43 percent of them responded. We wanted to hear it all -- the good, the not-so-good and the indifferent.

Of the respondents, 92% had purchased or used our Versa Paddle (for either sit-inside or sit-on-top kayaks); 23% our Gamut Paddle Holder; and 23% our new kayak outriggers. In addition, 31% of our customer respondents engaged in some sort of consultation with us or one of our adaptive instructor colleagues to understand what types of adaptations would be best suited for their needs. What follows are the full results.

The Headline Results

Angle Oar Customer Satisfaction Chart
  • 100% of customers were either Extremely Satisfied (83%) or Somewhat Satisfied (17%) with the Overall Quality of our products

  • 100% of customers were either Extremely Satisfied (90%) or Somewhat Satisfied (10%) with the Price/Value of our products

  • 100% were Extremely Satisfied (87%) or Somewhat Satisfied (13%) with our Packaging

  • 82% were either Extremely Satisified (73%) or Somewhat Satisfied (9%) with the Fit of the Mount with their kayak

  • 100% were either Extremely Satisfied (92%) or Somewhat Satisfied (8%) with the Performance and Function of our products

  • 100% were Extremely Satisfied with our Customer Service and Responsiveness to Shipping or Adaptive Questions

Customer Breakdown

Who Uses Angle Oar

This year we had many more individual paddlers (as opposed to organizations and programs) try our products. It makes sense given that many programs were on pause in 2020.

Many of the individuals were paddlers who'd experienced shoulder or rotator cuff injuries and who decided to try our Gamut Paddle Holder in order to continuing paddling.

Our customers came in all shapes and sizes – literally. Many of them are veterans, some are recreational therapists working with clients, and a good chunk are parents and grandparents trying to find adaptive equipment that will level the playing field for a family member.

Adaptive Paddler Profiles

Kayaking with Disabilities

As each new year goes by, we're learning more about who's using our adaptive equipment and what conditions or scenarios prompted them to try it.

The profiles of our users vary, but one theme continues from year to year: people either want to be able to paddle independently or they used to kayak and want to get back to it.

What Customers Like Best About Our Products

We are pleased and humbled by the generous comments we received from respondents. Here are some of the things they had to say:

Critical Feedback

Of course we always want to know if anything is not working as expected. But despite asking point blank what we can be doing better, we're pleased that our customers didn't have much to say. A full 80% of respondents said they thought everything was just peachy keen as-is.

The main piece of constructive feedback was that some of the parts of the mount can come loose and, though most have flotation material inside, can drop into the water or get lost.

Key Take-Aways

Even though we didn't hear much in the way of problems from our survey respondents, we recognize that there are design improvements we need and want to make, For instance, we know that the hinge plate that attaches the mount to the kayak should be made of a stronger material in our next production run as it breaks on occasion. Or that the adhesive that holds some of the components together can crack after extended exposure.

Another continued theme not reflected in the survey results is the desire by prospective customers for a broader range of mounts -- whether that be for inflatable kayaks, canoes or SUPs. We get calls every week from people asking if these adaptations are available.

These (and other) enhancements are very much on our radar and are under consideration as we make future design changes to our product line.

Finally, we’re very proud of the fact that people continue to recognize our personalized customer service. We are a small, family-owned business, and that means we have the ability (and the desire) to talk with potential customers over the phone for as long as it takes to learn their needs, understand what kayaks they have, and brainstorm solutions when needed. If we don’t think our products will fit a particular kayak, or serve the needs of a particular paddler, we say so and/or we point them to other products that can.

Thank you to everyone who engaged with us this year! We're very much looking forward to the coming season with you!