Uncle Stanky waxes rhapsodic about going faster, smelling sweeter and respecting the environment
Born of the passion of snowboarding, inspired by the love of dank, and with the utmost respect for the natural world, Tim Foley launched Uncle Stanky’s Dank Wax in 2016. Since then, he’s been going faster, smelling sweeter and always looking to make a better wax. Heads Lifestyle talked to the Uncle himself about his novel products and exciting projects.
Heads Lifestyle: So why wax? How did it all come to be?
Tim Foley: I used to experiment with different formulas on my own boards. I got burned out on most of the garbage wax that the big online retailers sold. A lot of your more popular waxes are made of 90% paraffin, which is easy to apply and easy to scrape, but doesn’t last long or work well. Paraffin is cheap and large manufacturers make a ton of money selling their wax. For fun, I used to make up test batches just to see what I could do. I wanted something faster, longer lasting, and better for the environment. I started working with hemp oil two years ago. I won’t get into the exact ingredients; I’d like to keep them a trade secret for now. Once I discovered what worked, I couldn’t wait to get people riding my product. I gave away so much in the first year, I practically put myself out of business. In the second year, everyone that I gave free wax to came back to buy more.
Uncle Stanky's Sour Diesel scented All Temperature Wax
HL: What came first? Snowboard wax, skating wax or lip balm?
TF: The snowboard wax came first. I built my website and started selling the wax in 2016. Not too long after that, my wife came up with the idea to start making the Hemp lip balm. We decided to make the lip balm with the best ingredients that we could use. The lip balm is SPF 15, it contains: beeswax, organic hemp oil, vitamin E, lanolin, coconut oil, sunflower oil, paraffin, and 100% pure all natural flavors. The skate wax came last. Basically, I was bored during the summertime, so I decided to start that project.
I used to make up test batches just to see what I could do. I wanted something faster, longer lasting, and better for the environment.
HL: What were some of the legal or regulatory hurdles you’ve faced in choosing to manufacture your waxes with hemp oil?
TF: The trademark registration was sort of a difficult process because of the marijuana leaf on the logo. I went back and forth with the attorneys for about six months just to complete the trademark logo application process. Then I had to reassure the United States Patent and Trademark Office (in writing) that I would not sell any products with actual active ingredients like THC or CBD.
Uncle Stanky's Team Rider Fabian Fraidl with a backside 180 Seatbelt. Photo: Kristin Ludwig
HL: Where do you source your hemp oil?
TF: From a manufacturer in Canada called Dr. Adorable Inc. It’s 100% pure, unrefined, and organic. It’s a great product.
I like to tell people that smoke starts to come off the bottom of your board when you’re going really fast.
HL: Is there any THC in Uncle Stanky’s Dank Wax products? How often do you get asked if it can be smoked?
TF: That’s funny. No, there is no measureable amount of THC in the wax products. People jokingly ask that pretty often, “Hey man, can I smoke it?” I like to tell people that smoke starts to come off the bottom of your board when you’re going really fast.
Uncle Stanky's Team Rider Fabian Fraidl - wall ride. Photo: @gotit.photography
HL: What about the research and development? Do you personally test the products?
TF: In the beginning I did all of the research and development myself. A few of the places that I personally tested the different waxes were Big Bear spring slush and 80 degree temps (Ultra Warm Wax), some seriously deep pow in Utah with, like, 2 degree temps (Ultra Cold Wax), and I tested the All Temp Wax just about everywhere that I have ridden. Now I have team members in the U.S. and Austria who provide most of the feedback. They’re much better riders and I trust them to take the wax to its limits so that we can continue to improve our products in every way possible.
HL: Hemp is definitely more eco-friendly than many of the more traditional ingredients used in snowboard waxes. What are some of the nastier aspects of non-hemp-based waxes?
TF: I’m glad that you asked that question. This is something that I feel very strongly about. Fluorinated ski waxes have now been found to be much more dangerous than we had first thought. New scientific research suggests that ski wax can expose users to perfluorochemicals (PFCs) that build up in their bodies and may carry potentially serious health risks, including cardiovascular disease, liver damage, hormone disruption and cancer. That isn’t really a risk that I want to take just to wax my boards. Snowboarding is meant to be fun, and that doesn’t really sound like fun to me.
The first and most important advantage is that it just makes a fast product, plain and simple.
HL: In addition to being more eco-friendly, what are some of the other advantages of hemp-based wax?
TF: Well, the first and most important advantage is that it just makes a fast product, plain and simple. The second advantage is that it lasts longer than anything else on the market. You can go riding three or four times before you even need to think about re-waxing your board. And last but not least, the smell when you are waxing your board is awesome. The Ultra Cold Wax is Blueberry Kush scented, the All Temperature Wax is Sour Diesel scented, and the Ultra Warm Wax is Strawberry Amnesia scented. It just makes the chore of waxing your board more fun.
Uncle Stanky's Team Rider Fabian Fraidl with a Frontboard Melon Grab. Photo: Kristin Ludwig
HL: Is there a significant difference between the snowboard wax, skate wax and lip balm?
TF: Yes, they are vastly different products made up of completely different ingredients. The only thing that all of them have in common is hemp oil. I mean, you could try waxing your snowboard with the lip balm, but I don’t think that would work very well. It would definitely make your board taste great though.
Blueberry Kush, Sour Diesel, and Strawberry Amnesia are my all-time favourite strains. They’re classics.
HL: Your waxes smell dope. What goes into choosing your scents?
TF: Blueberry Kush, Sour Diesel, and Strawberry Amnesia are my all-time favourite strains. They’re classics. Anyone that knows anything about marijuana knows these strains. In the beginning, I would have my friends check out the scents to see what they liked. They were my Guinea pigs. They dug it.
HL: Tell us a little about the Uncle Stanky’s team.
TF: Sure, there are three riders in Austria: Fabian Fraidl @fabianfraidl, Christian Kirsch @oldirtykirschi, and Natalie Millman @itsallaboutnatiii. In the U.S. we have Cameron Hamilton @mtbakersoftcore and Kaite Bland @kayteebee_ . They are all incredibly talented riders, some specializing in parks and street riding and some specializing in big backcountry powder action. I really can’t say enough about them. You need to go to our website at unclestankys.com and check out the team page or go to their pages listed above. Pictures are worth a thousand words.
Uncle Stanky's Team Rider Kaite Bland with a tail grab. Photo: Peter day
HL: Is there a real Uncle Stanky?
TF: Yes, my nephew used to call me that when we were young punks smoking some dank, surfing, and hanging out at the beach in Oxnard, CA. We had a lot of stanky fun during that time.
HL: What’s next for Uncle Stanky’s?
TF: Well, we will be changing our packaging to be a little more attractive for retail. By November, we will be using new molds with the Uncle Stanky’s name engraved on the rectangular wax bars and plastic clamshell packaging, complete with our UPC codes. I would also like to mention some of the projects our riders are working on. Check out the Spot Hunt Street Snowboarding series on YouTube. Fabian and O.D.K. are involved in that one. Also, look for the upcoming Follow Cam series with Cameron Hamilton. That will be kind of a backcountry follow cam/variety show. You will find that starting November 3rd at @followcamham. Look for Kaite Bland in the USASA contests this year. She took a second at the 2018 National Championships. Watch for Natalie Millman to set the Internet on fire with her dope riding skills and crazy good looks. Other than that we plan on doing a lot of snowboarding and keeping it Stanky!