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Natasha Sones Meets Marc Huntington and Family

Posted by Lydia Burdett

Newest Red Ambassador Natasha Sones meets the Huntington family – also known online as ‘A Tings Life’. Marc, Nicky and Izzy live in Lancashire in the North West of England and love to document their adventures as a family, plus inspire others to do the same...

I was really pleased to meet the Huntingtons recently. I have a lot in common with this adventure-loving family; we all love stand-up paddleboarding, hiking and other adventures, we are both Red Paddle Co and National Outdoor Expo Ambassadors, plus I have three children. My youngest, Logan, is the same age as Izzy. I thought it would be great to interview this outdoor-loving family at the National Outdoor Expo 2024, where the Tings gave a talk on the Skills Stage, and spoke about family camping for Camp Wild. They also took over Red Instagram Stories @redequipment on the day, giving people a tour of the show and meeting some of the amazing people who were there. As I was helping out on the Red stand at the show I took the opportunity to meet the Tings and grill them! 

Hi guys, you started A Tings Life as an Instagram profile to connect with other families during lockdown, how has it grown since then? I know you are passionate about sharing adventures.

Instagram for us has been amazing. We started it just to connect with the outdoor community which is very active on there and get some inspirations for our own adventures. The account grew steadily over time and we love that we are now able to share our love for the outdoors and hopefully inspire a few others to get out and try new things. Instagram also gave us a chance to build relationships with some amazing brands, including Red Paddle Co.

How long have you been Ambassadors for Red Paddle Co?

We joined Red Paddle Co towards the end of 2022.


You all have Red boards don’t you? Which ones do you have and how have they helped you to Upgrade your Adventures? 

We do! And we love them! To work with a world leading brand like Red Paddle Co is such an honour. Izzy has the 9'8" Ride MSL and Nicky has the 10'6" Ride MSL. Marc moved from an allrounder to the 12'6" Voyager. Being out on the water with a child on such reliable and stable boards makes a huge difference for us.  The Voyager is an amazing board and is perfect for touring. It’s also perfect for when Izzy just wants to relax and jump on board. It also gives the capability to carry more kit for longer days out or overnighting. Three boards in a car with camping kit etc though is still quite a lot though so our next move would probably be to replace the Rides with Compacts (Marc’s not giving up his Voyager for anything!)

Ha ha – I totally get that. I have the same size Voyager and it’s my favourite board ever. Perfect for touring adventures and so stable. I also have the Compact though too, which is ideal for travelling with, like you say.

So what are some of your favourite places to paddle where you live and why?

We are lucky to be able to get to the Lake District in about 1.5 hours so it’s possible to get there for evening paddles and days out.  We still have a lot to explore but we love the Glenridding end of Ullswater. The scenery there is just spectacular! Other favourites are Fell Foot at the south end of Windermere which is also perfect for a day out and a picnic. Having the lake and the river to paddle on is amazing, especially if you get to see the stream train from the water! Local canals are a great option for a quick paddle though too, as is our local paddle club, the Anderton Centre Paddlesports Club based on Lower Rivington Reservoir in Lancashire.

Further afield; paddling to the weirs in Bath as a family was spectacular - as was Nicky and I having a bit of time to ourselves on a couples’ paddle on The Backs in Cambridge.   


Izzy recently made her stage debut at the National Outdoor Expo 2024. It was amazing to see how confidently she spoke on stage. I know you both were very proud parents! What did she enjoy most about the Expo?

The brownies went down very well! Giving the talk and facing her fears was definitely up there for Izzy but also meeting people. It's always amazing to see other people's passion for the outdoors rubbing off on Izzy. Izzy ended the day interviewing Fenwick Ridley, aka the GB Ice Viking and Team GB Ice Swimmer. She even ended up agreeing to go for a swim with him (maybe not in icy water just yet but open water!) so we will see how that one goes. It’s these opportunities that we love about the outdoor community though.

Izzy named hot chocolate as one of her favourite things to enjoy on outside adventures! That’s the surefire way I get my children outside too! Any other tips for being adventurous with kids?

For us it’s really simple. Make things an adventure and recognise what gets them excited outdoors. When we first started paddleboarding we hardly moved on the lake. Izzy spent most of her time jumping off the boards, seeing what tricks she could do on them and playing. All this built confidence and balance, but more importantly to fall in love with being on the water. The distance is increasing as she gets older but wild play still forms the basis of nearly everything we do outside. Outdoors should be fun!

What other sport/activities do you like to do apart from SUP?

The main things for us are hiking, camping, rock climbing and SUP but we are always looking for new experiences to try. Izzy loves high rope courses as well.

You spoke at the National Outdoor Expo for Camp Wild about starting them young family camping. What’s your favourite thing about family camping?

Time together. It’s that simple. We connect more away from the routines of the house and distractions of screens etc. But it also gives us the chance to give Izzy some independence. We camp a lot with friends so allowing the children to go off and explore and play is really special. We really believe that giving children that unsupervised wildplay (and by that I mean they create their own games and have some freedom, not that we have no idea where they are or what they are doing) is really important for their development.

You were the winners of a competition launched by Lake District Estates to find new Family Feedback Champions. What was that like? 

That was amazing. We got to stay in the brand new apartments at Waterfoot Park in Pooley Bridge. They were absolutely stunning and a great base to explore Ullswater, head out on the Steamer to Glenridding or explore further into the Lake District.

What would be your ultimate dream paddle destination and why?

Ah this is a tough one! That's a very long list. One of our favourite things about getting on the water is seeing the world from a different perspective. Paddling on Wastwater has been high on the list for a while so we need to do that this year. We would also love to paddle with the Manatees on Crystal River in Florida. Every time we open Instagram a new dream destination pops up though! Oh but would also love to give white water SUP a go!

Thanks so much for talking to me today!

Follow @natashastarseeker and @atingslife on Instagram to find out about their Red SUP adventures!