Introducing Our New Line of Paddling Systems for Kayakers with Strength or Mobility Challenges
Note: This is a lightly edited version of a press release distributed on September 26, 2023.
Angle Oar, a groundbreaking manufacturer of adaptive paddling equipment, is introducing an innovative array of new and re-engineered products designed to give people with limited strength or mobility the ability to kayak independently.
The company’s paddle systems use custom mounts that attach to the kayak to support the weight of the kayak paddle while the person is paddling. This energy-efficient design eliminates the weight of the paddle, greatly reducing stress on the kayaker’s shoulders, back and joints. It also requires a smaller range of motion, which means that people with extremely limited movement, for example due to a stroke or rotator cuff injury, can still propel themselves through the water using their own power.
According to the US Census Bureau, 28.9% of the US population, or 80 million people, are between the ages of 45 and 74. In addition, approximately 26% of adults in the US have some form of disability, 54 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and more than 7 million adults in the US experience shoulder injuries annually. Similar trends can be observed, to varying degrees, across the globe.
“These are all people who want to stay active and independent as long as possible, but sometimes an injury or joint pain forces them to give up kayaking,” said Meg McCall, Founder and CEO of Angle Oar. “For individuals with specific disabilities, the absence of suitable adaptive products has often deterred them from pursuing kayaking in the first place.”
Julie Stillman of Vermont is one such person. Several years ago, she had a major stroke, completely paralyzing the right side of her body and drastically damaging her ability to speak, known as aphasia. “We thought her kayaking days were over,” noted her husband, Jeff Nagle. They’ve since invested in a Versa Paddle and stabilizing outriggers from Angle Oar, and now Julie kayaks all summer long. “The stroke took the use of her right arm, so with the rotational post and this wonderful paddle set up… (it’s) so easy and safe for Julie to paddle her kayak with just one hand. She loves it,” he said.
New Product Lineup
Angle Oar is dedicated to making the beauty and restorative powers of nature accessible to more individuals, regardless of age, injury or ability. The new product lineup reflects their unwavering commitment to that mission.
Angle Oar’s signature products, the Versa Paddle System and the Gamut Paddle Holder System, have undergone significant upgrades. “We’ve reduced the number of moving parts, strengthened the materials, and streamlined the overall design to make them even more user-friendly,” explained McCall.
The company has also introduced several new mounts that work with a range of sit-inside, sit-on-top and foldable kayaks, as well as standup paddleboards. All mounts are compatible with both the Versa and Gamut systems.
The company still considers the Hinged Mount the ‘gold standard’ of its mounts, but they’ve introduced a new no-drill mount, called the Apex Mount, for individuals who want that option. Angle Oar has also partnered with RAM Mounts to offer a range of mounts for sit-on-top and angling kayaks.
The improved Versa Paddle System, a patented, adjustable paddle, can be used either straight or angled downward on both sides while in the mounts. The anodized aluminum shafts have been elongated for improved contact with the water and can be adjusted in length from 220 to 255 cm. The blades are made from durable plastic and available in two bright colors.
The Gamut Paddle Holder System works with the kayaker’s own paddle, holding it firmly in place between two roller grips by YakAttack.
Angle Oar has also welcomed Cathy Webster as its new Clinical Consultant. She will serve as a technical expert and resource for individuals, adaptive programs and other organizations who want to learn more about adaptive kayaking and ensure the company’s products meet the unique needs of individuals with disabilities. Webster is based in Vermont where she works as a Physical Therapist at the RehabGYM and serves as the program manager of the Adaptive Kayaking program of the Northeast Disabled Athletics Association. She is also an American Canoe Association Level 2 kayak instructor with Adaptive Kayaking Certification.
Paddlers and organizations around the world have added Angle Oar products to their inventory, including VA clinics, parks and recreation departments, and adaptive programs in Germany, Canada, Ireland, Australia and Greece.
Dave Phillips of Canada is among them. Last summer Phillips had a second spinal surgery and six months of recovery time. Upon using his Versa Paddle System for the first time, he said, “It's awesome! It's clear that I would not be able to kayak without it.”
For further inquiries, to explore their new products, or to inquire about becoming a dealer, please visit the Angle Oar website.
About Angle Oar
Angle Oar’s mission is 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. Founder and CEO Meg McCall served on the steering committee of the newly launched Paddlesports Trade Coalition and is now a founding member.