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  • Meg McCall

Introducing the Versa Paddle

When we launched the company (Angle Oar LLC) a few years back, we also gave our signature adaptive paddling product the same name: the Angle Oar. That's because the design has elements of both a paddle and an oar.

Paddles are typically held by the paddler and not connected to the vessel, whereas an oar is usually connected to a vessel with some type of oarlock and pin and often comes in pairs. As you can see in this picture, our product has features of both. Plus, we had a naming contest and “oar” slightly eked out “paddle.”

Fast forward a bit and we recognized the downside to our choice: most kayakers would never dream of referring to their paddle as an oar! Heck, even the publishers of Paddling Magazine at one point made a joke about it when they were hiring a new editor. They said any people whose cover letters use the word “oar” need not apply. Ouch!

After much deliberation and a game of Rochambeau (a.k.a. rock-paper-scissors), we settled on the name Versa. It’s short for versatile, as in, it functions in many different ways. You can use it angled or straight (or visa versa), and it suits a “diversity” of people. Mostly we just liked the ring of it!

Moving forward, we’ll generally refer to our primary adaptive paddling product as the Versa Paddle, but our company name remains Angle Oar.

You may occasionally run across a some materials with the former name, and you'll certainly hear it being called that by others, but that's okay. As long as people are using it to stay paddling independently, that's all the matters!


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