It’s a new paddling season, so it seemed a good time to give our website and signature product a refresh! When we launched the company (Angle Oar LLC) a few years back, we also gave our product the same name: 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. Our product had elements of both. Plus, we had a naming contest and “oar” slightly eked out “paddle.”
Fast forward a bit and we’ve recognized the downside to our choice: most kayakers would never dream of referring to their paddle as an oar! Heck, even Rapid Media, the publishers of Kayak Angler, Adventure Kayak and Canoeroots magazines made a joke about it when they were hiring for 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 product as the Versa paddle, but our company name remains Angle Oar. We’ve got more important things on our plate than re-doing all our past materials, blog posts, etc., so you may continue to run across the paddle still referred to as Angle Oar for some time.