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 company which began life at Grosvenor Rowing Club (where we row) in Chester.
Launched in 2014 after David (novice rower at the time) bought a load of kit and wasn't too impressed with the quality. David designed a sweatshirt for the club which went down really well. People on social media liked the design too, and Square Blades was born.
By 2016 it became apparent 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 at school).
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.
2022 saw major changes. As we came to the end of the lease on our shop in Handbridge, it became apparent that we needed to move out to bigger premises. In April we waved goodbye to Handbridge, and moved to a unit on Deeside Industrial Park.
Does "square blades" actually mean something. Well, yes...
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 to make the spoon parallel to the water. This action is called "feathering" and helps reduce drag against the oar and, in turn, helps to maintain boat speed.
Not feathering the oar, keeping the spoon 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.