Established in 2014 and based in the historic city of Chester, Square Blades is a rowing-inspired lifestyle brand. We take our inspiration from the heritage, history, and success of British rowing to bring you timeless, premium quality clothing and accessories.
We're happily an independent family company which began life at Grosvenor Rowing Club (where we both row) in Chester.
Helen introduced David in to the world of rowing, and after completing the Learn To Row course at Grosvenor, he was hooked.
Like all good novices he bought a load of kit, including a hoodie, from the club's existing kit supplier and, after washing it for the first time, it shrank. Sad times.
Having being frustrated by this David, armed with a copy of Illustrator, a bit of an eye for graphic design, and sourcing some good manufacturers, created the first club sweatshirt design for Grosvenor. It hit Instagram, and a number of clubs got in touch asking for versions for their athletes.
By 2016 it became apparent that the company was now outgrowing the space in the spare bedroom, which also needed to be vacated due to the impending arrival of the Square Blades baby (now toddler).
October 2016 saw us open our shop, based in Handbridge, Chester - just a stones throw from the local rowing clubs, the stunning River Dee, and the city centre. We were lucky to have friends, family, dignitaries, and, GB rower Mat Tarrant help us celebrate the opening.
2017 saw the introduction of our regatta pop-up shop which now appears at most major rowing events throughout the UK, plus a few select provincial regattas.
By 2019 we launched a new, more striking, brand identity for the teamwear and technical range we offer.
If you're a rower you'll know the term, "Square Blades". However, if you're a non-rower you may be wondering what does "Square Blades" actually mean?
When you see a rowing crew at the Olympics you'll see they twist the handle of the oar at the end of the stroke. This action is called "feathering" and helps reduce drag against the oar and, in turn, helps to maintain the speed of the boat.
Not feathering the oar, keeping the oar perpendicular to the water, is called "Square Blades". This has two benefits in training. It helps rowers ensure their oar is coming out of the water cleanly, and that their hand heights are level throughout the stroke. Which is pretty important in keeping the boat level and stable.