Tidal turbine arrays are planed to be installed in areas with strong currents where the flow can often be sheared throughout the water column. To study the shear flow effects on tidal turbine, four vertical velocity profiles are generated in a flume tank and are imposed to a three-bladed horizontal axis turbine model. Results show that the sheared velocity profiles do not impact the turbine average performance but are responsible for an increase of blade root streamwise load variations. Blade root streamwise load is moreover linked to the turbine rotational frequency and its harmonics. The velocity perceived by the blades during their rotation is estimated over the rotor area and is compared to the angular phase average of the streamwise load measured on the blades. The phase average of the load and the velocity perceived by the blades are highly correlated even if a varying phase lag has been noticed between these two quantities. This phase lag is dependent on the rotational speed of the turbine, on the incoming flow shear, and is probably caused by the turbine induction effects. This experimental study is a first step to understand the effect of shear velocity profiles on tidal turbines better.