It’s always excellent catching up with Cartel Mods main man Gino Litonjua. He was one of the first people in the vaping business that I interviewed (way back at ECC 2013) and watching his company grow has been lots of fun. At ECC 2015, Gino told me about the Scatola Box Mod and the Xanic Blanc line of vaping e-liquids. As with all the Cartel Mods products I’ve seen over the last few years, the Scatola and Xanic Blanc are different and classy.
Let’s start with the juice. Xanic Blanc has launched with three flavors that are atypical for a Southern California vaping company. Crema is a mix of orange, cream, and yogurt that playfully blends sweet, savory, and tangy notes. Lusso is a mix of honeydew melon and milk, touched by a slight bit of menthol — definitely one of the more unique flavors I’ve tried this year. Lastly, Biancco is a creamy strawberry funnel cake. I’ve vaped a bunch of all three flavors and enjoy them all, but I’m still trying to figure out which one I like best. It changes by the hour. Ha!
On the hardware side, Cartel Mods is currently taking pre-orders for the Scatola Box Mod. Made from a unique hybrid resin body, the Scatola mimics the look of stabilized wood, but is more durable and doesn’t have issues with humidity. The box mod is accented by 304 stainless steel and uses Delrin insulators. The Scatola box run in parallel, allowing vapers ample battery life. At the show, Cartel Mods had several finishes on display and several of them looked brilliant.
Check out my ECC 2015 chat with Gino below to learn more about the Xanic Blan e-liquid line and the Scatola Box Mod, as well as what he’s working on next. (Hint: Expect a regulated device from Cartel Mods in the near future!)
A relatively new vaping e-liquid company, my buddy Chris introduced me to Sweet Nectar at ECC 2015. A few of the company’s juices surprised RPadholic N8R and me. N8R was enamored with Home Grown, a melange of pineapple, watermelon, and blueberry. Even though I find most fruit vapes banal, Home Grown’s atypical blend and texture worked for me. My personal favorite was Cookie Butter, which is Sweet Nectar’s first savory flavor. The company describes it as, “a great inhale that taste like fresh baked cookies and a snickerdoodle exhale.” In the interview below, Sweet Nectar owner Alex Hards talks about the company’s history, a few of its flavors, and the upcoming Select Line of juices.
Vapers looking for a good deal should definitely consider Sweet Nectar. The company’s 15ml bottles retail for $7.50, as opposed to the $12 price point used by most of its competitors. Even though the price is low, Sweet Nectar uses PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, which are more expensive than and superior to the LDPE (low-density polyethylene) used by many juice companies. The upcoming Select Line will use glass bottles. Alex talks about the first flavor in the Sweet Nectar Select Line in the interview.
It’s going to be fun watching Sweet Nectar invade the retail scene. From what I understand, the company’s wholesale prices will appeal to store owners, while consumers will be attracted to the retail pricing. Sweet Nectar has a good variety of flavors and should have at least one that will tickle your fancy. For discerning vapers and those that insist on glass bottles, the Select Line should be an interesting choice. I’m looking forward to seeing the bottles and price point for that line of Sweet Nectar products. To learn more about the company, a few of its flavors, and the upcoming Select Line then check out my ECC 2015 chat with Alex below.
Thousands of vapers know Jay Bo from his Tobh Mods and Jay Bo Designs products, like the Tobh Atomizer and Bambino Atty. Vapers that follow the business know that Jay Bo’s designs have been mercilessly copied by several Chinese e-cigarette companies. With that in mind, many people at ECC 2015 were surprised to learn that Jay Bo is now the senior designer for a Chinese vaping company. In the interview below, Jay Bo talks about his role as Wismec senior designer and what he hopes to accomplish with the company.
Fans of Jay Bo’s enthusiast vaper products shouldn’t have anything to worry about. He’s still designing products aimed at that segment of the vaping market. With Wismec, his designs will hit a larger portion of the market. Wismec will be using its considerable manufacturing resources to bring Jay Bo products to beginning, intermediate, and advanced vapers. On the flip side, Jay Bo will be helping out on products that won’t have his personal brand on them, but will certainly be influenced by his style. On paper, it seems like a win-win situation for both parties. Jay Bo gets tremendous resources and reach, while Wismec gets one of the most celebrated designers in the vaping business.
There are a few side notes to this piece. First is a confession — I desperately wanted to title this article “Jay Bo Goes to China (Wismec)” or “Big Jay Bo in Little China (Wismec).” Thanks to that handy disclaimer, I can fess up to things. Also, the interview may or may not have a crash appearance by Brett Reed from Praxis Vapors.
Anyway, this is a potentially huge development for both Jay Bo and Wismec. To learn all about the relationship and to get an update on Jay Bo’s ever-evolving facial hair, kindly check out the ECC 2015 interview below.
In a very short time, Propaganda E-Liquid has become a fairly large e-liquid company. I recall first seeing the company at an OC Vapers Meet event, where the crew had a small display table. At ECC 2014, Propaganda E-Liquid had a relatively modest 10 x 20 booth. At ECC 2015, the company had a huge display, including a two-story staging area, ample seating areas, and multiple kiosks. In the interview below, Propaganda E-Liquid CEO Nicholas DeNuccio talks about how the company got started, the company’s explosive growth, three of his most popular flavors, and what’s coming next.
Propaganda E-Liquid kicked things off with Illuminati, a refreshing blend of blood orange, pineapple, and strawberry. Nick made this flavor while he was still working at a vape shop and used customer feedback to make this juice the foundation of the company’s launch. Vapers that are partial to candy flavors will want to check out Subliminal, which is a sweet and sour Razzmatazz flavor. The newest flavor in the Propaganda E-Liquid lineup is Treason, a sweet lemon pudding topped with whipped cream. While the company started off with fruit and candy e-liquids, it has been rounding out its lineup with savory dessert flavors.
Propaganda E-Liquid currently has five flavors on tap. Nick mentioned that a sixth flavor is on the way. I’d expect the new flavor to hit some time before the end of the year.
On a macro level, Propaganda E-Liquid is a fantastic example of why I enjoy covering the vaping business. It’s a new and exciting space that’s changing rapidly. It’s very cool to see a company like Propaganda E-Liquid grow at such a remarkable rate. Being able to watch companies like Nick’s develop and flourish is a nifty privilege. If you want to learn more about Propaganda E-Liquid and its juice, check out the clip with Nick below.
Epistle Eliquid launched at ECC 2015 with two juice flavors and a very cool mission. In addition to offering tasty juice, the company aims to educate consumers through its packaging. A portion of the company’s sales will go to the excellent NotBlowingSmoke.org. If you’re not familiar with the organization, it does a fantastic job of educating consumers about vaping issues in a very clear and concise way. In my opinion, NotBlowingSmoke.org does the best job of informing vapers about laws that could potentially change their lifestyle. It’s very, very cool that Epistle Eliquid has partnered up with the fantastic organization. In the interview below, Epistle Eliquid co-owner Nickelson Ballon talks about the company’s two launch flavors, the company’s mission, and teaming up with NotBlowingSmoke.org.
As I mentioned, Epistle Eliquid has kicked things off with two flavors. First up is Mango Lassi, based on the the popular Indian confection. A mixture of sweet fruit and tangy yogurt, Mango Lassi is a delicious dessert blend. The second Epistle Eliquid launch flavor is Carrot Cake. This juice offers the sweet and savory spices in carrot cake, with an emphasis on the frosting. Out of the two launch flavors, I preferred Mango Lassi. I’m a fan of the Indian dish and not overly fond of the frosting on carrot cake.
Epistle Eliquid is off to a great start. The company’s ECC 2015 booth was almost always busy when I walked by. I love that a new e-liquid company is working to educate vapers and teaming with an excellent group like NotBlowingSmoke.org. A lot of my friends at the show enjoyed the two Epistle Eliquid launch flavors (though I seem to be in the minority, as most of them preferred Carrot Cake). If you want to learn more about Epistle Eliquid’s juices and efforts then check out my interview with Nickelson below.
Once known primarily for its made-in-the-USA high-end mechanical mods, Surefire Vapor is branching out into several different areas of vaping. At ECC 2015, the company had a number of new products. Recently, the company released a line of e-liquids, as well as pre-made coils and cotton. The Surefire Vapor goods that were getting the most attention at the show were the Castle Box Mod and Heir RDA. Both products have relatively low retail prices and offer great features. In the interview below, Surefire Vapor CEO Garry Rivera told me about the Castle Box Mod and Heir RDA.
The Castle Box Mod will retail for $100 and will be available in six different colors (I’m digging the pink and white models). It’s a 60-watt temperature-control box-mod that uses a proprietary chip. Vapers looking for a safe, simple, and elegant box mod should definitely give the Castle a look.
The Surefire Vapor product that really had me geeked out was the Heir RDA. Many people at ECC 2015 were calling it the “Kennedy Killer,” in reference to the popular bottom-airflow RDA. While the Heir RDA is indeed a bottom-airflow atomizer, the feature that grabbed me was its “direct-to-drip coil system.” Under the Heir RDA’s drip tip but above the deck is a hat-shaped piece of metal. The “hat” funnels juice into two slots that sit above the coils. This makes re-dripping super convenient and easy. It’s one of those clever designs that make you go, “That’s awesome! Why haven’t I seen that before?!?”
When Surefire Vapor first launched, it was one of the few American companies making high-end mods. The market has changed drastically over the years and it’s fun watching Surefire Vapor change with it. I’m curious to see how the Castle Box Mod and Heir RDA will sell. I’m already sold on the latter, but want to play with the former a bit more. To learn about both products, check out my interview with Garry.
Praxis Vapors had one of the most exciting booths in Hall 9 of ECC, with several new products that dazzled vapers. From box mods to starter kits to new e-liquids, there were several new Praxis Vapors products to check out. Company CMO Brett Reed walked me through the lineup.
The product that garnered the most attention at the Praxis Vapors booth was the Decimus box mod. A sleek and inexpensive box, the Decimus should offer a great blend of price, performance, and style when it’s released in Fall 2015. It’s going to hit at least 150 watts and it will come in a variety of colors. While several vaping companies are competing in the luxury box mod space, Praxis Vapors hopes to hit the mainstream crowd by pricing the Decimus at $89.95. Be sure to hit up the Praxis Vapors Instagram page and vote on your favorite colors for the Decimus box mod.
Next up is the Praxis Vapors Survival Kit, which consists of the Volta regulated tube and the Spitfire tank atomizer. Aimed at newer vapers or those wanting a simple setup, the Survival Kit should retail for around $60 to $65. I’d expect the tank to be available separately shortly after the Survival Kit’s release.
On the Praxis Potions front, the company has released Amber. The first savory flavor from the company, Amber is a blend of peanut butter, cream, and wafers. I’ve vaped a couple of milliliters of Amber and it has already become my favorite Praxis Potions e-liquid.
Lastly, Brett spoke about Taffy Man, a juice that’s being handled by Praxis Vapors’ distribution company. If you’re into grape Laffy Taffy then you’ll definitely want to check out this e-liquid.
Check out my ECC 2015 interview with Praxis Vapors CMO Brett Reed below to learn more about the Decimus box mod, Survival Kit, Amber, Taffy Man, and more.
One of my favorite discoveries at ECC 2013 was POET Electronic Nectar. Back then, the SoCal e-liquid scene was dominated by fruit flavors, mostly artificial and/or candied. POET was the first SoCal juice maker I met that made the kinds of complex and layered juices that I enjoy. Since that meeting, I’ve had POET CEO Randy Freer on RPadTV several times and had the pleasure of enjoying his excellent company at various vape events. It has been a privilege getting to know the man behind the brilliant e-liquids. At ECC 2015, Randy told me about the POET Passport Series line of e-liquids and the first two flavors in the lineup — Green Dragon Tea and Mexican Coffee.
Some of you will recall that Randy had a fun contest during ECC 2014, where he let fans decide on his next flavor. The first two flavors in the POET Passport Series were born from that contest; they didn’t win the fan vote back then, but they were way too delicious to discard. I was extremely high on the Mexican Coffee e-liquid when it was first introduced in 2014. Randy has tweaked the formula since then and what I tried at ECC 2015 was even better than what I remembered — a fantastic blend of coffee, bitter chocolate, and Mexican spices. Green Dragon Tea is also wonderful, blending tea, fruit, and creamy notes for a blissful melange. With these two flavors, the POET Passport Series should be off to an excellent start.
Check out my ECC 2015 interview with Randy to learn all about the POET Passport Series and to see the artwork from the new line.
Earlier in the summer, Fumi Vapor made a big splash with its Gang Mod. With an aggressive and controversial design that resembles brass knuckles, the original Gang Mod was an attention-grabber. Unfortunately, the design also made it illegal in more than two dozen American states. To solve that problem, Fumi Vapor released the LJ4A (Liberty and Justice For All) mod at ECC 2015. The mod uses a very similar design and the same internals, but is legal for sale in all 50 American states. At ECC 2015, Fumi Vapor vice president Joseph Brown gave me an update on the Gang Mod and told me about the LJ4A.
Fumi Vapor’s ECC 2015 booth was one of the most raucous places at the show. The company had several well-know DJs, breakdancers, models, and a Fumi Vapor-branded Rolls Royce. Fumi Vapor’s giveaways were distinct from its competitors, with more of a party atmosphere, rather than someone simply throwing juice and prizes into a crowd. Whenever I stopped by the booth during giveaway time, you could tell that Fumi Vapor’s fans were having a good time and lots of attendees were struck by the unique style of the LJ4A.
While some Internet vaping reviewers have been giving the company a hard time about its products, I appreciate what Fumi Vapor is doing as a company. Certainly its products aren’t for everyone, but I like how the company is trying to reach a different crowd and expand the business by incorporating the street art and hip-hop into its products. In the interview below, Joseph mentioned a few collaborations with various hip-hop artists, so don’t be surprised to see some celebrities wielding Gang Mods or LJ4A mods.
Personally, I think you guys and gals should pester the company so that it makes an LJ4A mod with the RPadTV logo and my face on it…but that’s just an idea. Ha!
In my opinion, Craft Vapery is the best e-liquid subscription service in the vaping business. When the company unveiled its Certifiably Vapable Liquids line of juices at ECC 2015, I was intrigued. After all, Craft Vapery deals with dozens of e-liquid companies and hundreds of flavors every month. Putting the Craft Vapery brand on Certifiably Vapable Liquids means that the company strongly believes in these flavors. At the show, Craft Vapery president Joshua Krane told me about the three launch flavors in the Certifiably Vapable Liquids lineup and how they’re made with vapers’ safety in mind.
First up is Sticky Rice, a milky-sweet dessert vape based on the popular Southeast Asian dessert of mango and sticky rice. This Certifiably Vapable Liquids flavor blends sweet fruit and savory coconut milk with a pleasant rice texture. As someone that lived in Thailand, I love that the company released this flavor.
Next is It’s Toast. This juice is based on Josh’s quintessential peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When I first tried this Certifiably Vapable juice, I had no idea that it was PB&J. The bread note really helps this flavor stand out from other PB&J e-liquids on the market. It’s Toast is quite tasty and surprisingly different.
Rounding out the Certifiably Vapable line is Cornbread, which several of my friends were raving about all show. First off, cornbread is frickin’ awesome. Secondly, it’s a flavor that I haven’t seen in the vaping world. Craft Vapery did a fantastic job of replicating the flavor, with a rich and textured cornbread slathered with honey butter. While I only vaped a bit of each juice at the show, Cornbread was my early favorite.
Lastly, Josh spoke about the future of the Certifiably Vapable line. These three flavors went through extensive focus testing with several Craft Vapery subscribers. Josh said that additional flavors that subscribers loved would be released in the future, as well as seasonal selections. Out of the dozens of juices I tried at ECC 2015, Cornbread was one of the most memorable. I highly recommend it and suggest that you check out the entire line of Certifiably Vapable Liquids.