Darren was an aspiring footballer in his teens but injury halted professional progress. He played semi professional for most of his career.
A punctured and collapsed lung at the age of 21 stopped Darren’s life in its tracks for a period of ten months. After two surgeries, he fought back hard from the injury and through rehabilitation to play football into his thirties, something doctors said he’d never be able to do. A knee injury eventually stopped Darren playing football for good.
As a very outdoor person through his job as a carpenter, Darren sought out new challenges and hobbies to fill a the large void that was playing football.
By his own admission, Darren has been a bit of a jack-of-all-trades since his football career ended. He’s become a keen traveller which has led him into photography and the world of GoPro. Darren is a mountain-obsessed snowboarder, very keen cyclist and finally, a paddleboarder.
In 2017, Darren co-created and set-up an online stand-up paddle board community called @standuppaddleuk on Instagram. As of August 2020, @standuppaddleuk has a community following of 15k people. He manages this in his spare time alongside Dale, the co-creator of @standuppaddleuk.
Post COVID challenges for Darren include the London to Paris cycle and a large-scale paddle board meeting for @standuppaddleuk.
When does Darren use LifeJacket and why?
My dad was diagnosed with small amounts of skin cancer. He was really lucky and it was removed quickly. That scenario made me think about what I was (more like, wasn’t) doing with my skin. I first started using the Sun Gel for cycling. I’m often out on the tarmac for 3-4+ hours at a time and quad and shin burn can be brutal. I’ve lost count of the times I’d applied a random ‘suncream’ for it to not work. The Sun Gel really protects me while cycling. That moved me to use it while out paddle boarding. Those coastal breezes can really disguise burnt skin, but it’s not a concern with the Sun Gel on. It is the go to safety equipment along side my personal flotation device or lease. I’m now using the Daily Moisturiser each morning, just to ensure I’m protected while out on site.
Where to see Darren in action?
Read Daren’s blog, catch him on social and, of course, check out and subscribe to @standuppaddleuk.