In addition to seeing awesome vaping hardware and tasting delicious e-liquids, Vape Summit III was fantastic for catching up with my favorite models. Truth be told, there’s one model that’s my favorite in the entire universe — the darling Marie Alvarez. Since she moved to Las Vegas, I haven’t gotten to see her at local shows, so I was excited to learn that she was working for Glas Vapor at Vape Summit III. In the video interview below, Marie Alvarez talks about Glas Vapor’s new line of e-liquids and what’s new with her exciting life.
As always, spending time with Marie Alvarez is special. Obviously she’s beautiful, but if you spend a little time with her you’ll find a tough, charming, and funny young lady…that can also kick your ass. I’m always amazed by her strength and what she has accomplished at such a young age. And yes, it’s best not to think about it too much because you’ll feel bad about yourself. While Marie Alvarez is kicking ass, raising a son, and getting all kinds of things done, I’ve yet to unpack from Vape Summit III and can’t muster up the will to go grocery shopping.
Last time the RPadTV crew chatted with Jay Bo Designs CEO Jay-Bo was ECC 2014 and the Indestructible Atty was getting set for production. At Vape Summit III, the Indestructible Atty arrived! Hardcore vapors will remember Jay-Bo’s Tobh Atomizer as being one of the hottest atomizers in 2014. After seeing the Indestructible Atty, learning about its features, and hearing its low price, I have no doubt that this product will do even better than its forerunner.
While the Indestructible Atty has a number of slick features, let’s start with its noteworthy suggested retail price — $50. With many top atomizers breaking the $100 mark, it’s nice to see Jay Bo Designs offer an affordable product that’s not made in China. Jay-Bo was quick to point out that none of the materials used in making the Indestructible Atty were made or sourced in China, all the way down to the o-rings and screws.
As far as aesthetics go, the Indestructible Atty uses a similar design language as the Tobh Atomizer, but with a fresher and more streamlined look. The large fins are gone, partially for durability reasons and (I’m guessing) partially because many vapers in 2015 prefer a streamlined look. While I loved the heat dissipation the Tobh fins offered, I’m also partial to the sleek and smooth look of the Indestructible. Yes, it’s more streamlined, but it will also look and feel familiar to Tobh Atomizer fans.
Now let’s move onto the features. The negative posts on the Indestructible Atty use slots rather than holes, allowing vapers to use any gauge of wire and any number of coils that can fit in the chamber. The center post will not spin, avoiding an issue found in many other atomizers. Lastly, the top cap can rest on the ridge, allowing it to flip up without coming off completely. This particular feature is great for a quick look at your wicks and, let’s be honest here, for dripping while driving. (For the record, RPadTV does not condone dripping and driving. Yes, this parenthetical statement was made for CYA purposes.)
On an unrelated note, this was the first time I’ve had Jay-Bo on camera since he shaved his infamous beard. Learn the story behind the shaving and all about the Indestructible Atty in the Vape Summit III video interview below.
Wanderlust Vapor was getting a ton of attention at Vape Summit III from some very important people. My buddies Lionel from Influx E-Juice and Josh from Craft Vapery were raving about the company’s juices. Since I hold both of their opinions in high regard, I had to check out the Wanderlust Vapor booth. To my delight, it was a productive and delicious trip. Juice maker Pat Nguyen makes some delicious and inventive e-liquids that stand out with their complexity and unique ingredient mixes.
Let’s take Wanderlust Vapor’s Ruby Cream, for example. The market is flooded with strawberry and strawberry-based e-liquids, and I’m mostly bored with the flavor. Ruby Cream takes the strawberry-and-cream flavor (that has been done time and time again) and adds a brilliant spin on it with malt. While adding an additional ingredient sounds like a simple thing to do, getting the balance just right takes skill. Pat did a phenomenal job with this e-liquid and it absolutely delighted my tastebuds. The malt really makes Ruby Cream distinct. Hell, I’m going to take a break from writing this article just so I can vape some…
…and I’m back! Now, the Wanderlust Vapor juice that had Lionel and Josh amazed was Lime Apple Crumbs. Another pleasantly atypical mix, this juice blends apple cider, lime, and pasty flavors. While I’ve encountered several apple e-liquids, most of those juices used candied or natural apple flavors. I don’t recall many (any?) that used apple cider. It’s a drink that I love cold or hot, and I’m jazzed that it’s part of this complex and tasty e-liquid.
So yeah! I’m really glad that Josh and Lionel bugged me to check out Wanderlust Vapor. With juices like the ones it had at Vape Summit III, I expect Wanderlust Vapor to have a great future. Check out my interview with the crew below to learn more about the company, its current flavors, and what’s coming next.
It was fantastic meeting US Vapor Mods owner Mike George and learning about the excellent Ceres mod from him. RPadholic N8R and I met the company in the elevator of the Las Vegas Marriott. After learning that Mike and his crew were nice people out of San Jose, I told them that I’d stop by their booth and check out their stuff. I’m grateful for that chance encounter, because the Ceres is one of the few tube mods at Vape Summit III that was truly exciting.
Made primarily from copper, with some stainless steel accents and silver internals, the Ceres is an incredible performer with several unique features. Those of you familiar with Roman mythology will recall that Ceres is the goddess agriculture, fertility, and motherly relationships. The mod that honors her name also uses it as an acronym: Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System.
The Ceres mod uses a unique switch that ensures maximum conductivity. With many mods that uses springs, electricity is lost through the spring. That’s not the case with the Ceres. In addition to great performance, the mod is also very convenient. The top cap uses a sliding mechanism that should accommodate all atomizers. The sliding mechanisms allows you to screw an atty right in, as opposed to most mods with adjustable contacts that require you to fiddle around depending on the atomizer and battery combination. Mike explains the performance and convenience features better than I ever could in the interview below.
In addition to talking about the Ceres, Mike also spoke about future plans for US Vapor Mods and an upcoming atomizer that he’s working on.
Again, I love the happenstance that occurred in an elevator at the Las Vegas Marriott. Without that chance meeting, I probably would have missed US Vapor Mods’ booth. As I alluded to earlier, I’m pretty bored with tube mods at the moment, but I was so impressed with the Ceres that I had to pick one up. Learn more about the mod and the company in the video interview below.
I’m back from Vape Summit III and pretty wiped out (in that good, euphoric way). Major thanks to Nate and Lawrence for helping me at the show. We filmed 30 Vape Summit III interviews and I have a ton of editing to do over the next few weeks. For my purposes, it was a great event that was full of excellent vaping products, wonderful people, some of my favorite models, and more. That said, it wasn’t perfect and there were a few things that attendees consistently complained about. With that in mind, let’s do one of those RPadTV binary breakdowns that I use for most of my reviews.
Old Friends (Good): It was nice catching up with vaping companies that I’ve interviewed before. It’s always good to see familiar faces and it’s very cool watching these companies grow. As with most young and booming businesses, many companies in the vaping industry evolve rapidly. Watching these companies grow and seeing the people behind them succeed is a privilege. A number of the interviews filmed at Vape Summit III were with companies that I’ve had on camera in the past, so stay tuned for some updates with old friends.
New Friends (Good): One of my favorite parts about trade shows is meeting new companies and discovering new products. Nate and I bumped into US Vapor Mods at our hotel, and checking out the company’s excellent Ceres mod was a fantastic surprise. The Ceres is a serious performer that I would have missed had I not randomly met the US Vapor Mods crew in an elevator.
I’ve had my eye on Hyon USA for several months and it was great meeting the company’s COO at Vape Summit III. Hyon has a pair of very unique atomizers coming in the near future and learning about them was excellent.
Similar to my experiences at E3, CES, and other trade shows, one of the best ways to discover new products is simply asking your friends, “What have you seen that’s cool?” Several of my industry buddies raved about Wanderlust Vapor, so I had to check out the company’s e-liquids. Honestly, I would have missed the Wanderlust booth completely and it would have been a shame, since the company had some of my favorite juices at the show. Stay tuned for interviews with these companies and several others that are new to RPadTV.
Attendance (Bad): Several exhibitors and attendees mentioned that they were expecting more people at Vape Summit III. While the show was certainly busy, I was surprised that it wasn’t packed. After all, you’re talking about a show featuring some of the best mod makers and juice makers in the business, with several products debuting at the event. Some people said that general admission ticket prices were too high for what attendees received. Others blamed the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight for making hotel costs exorbitant. Both factors sound reasonable and it was probably a combination of both that kept some people from attending Vape Summit III.
Global Exhibitors (Good): With the vaping shows I’ve been to in California, there have been a handful of international exhibitors. Vaping Summit III had — by far — the most international presence. There were mod makers and juice makers from all over the world. I was thrilled to see several exhibitors from Europe and Asia. Their attendance was a testament to vaping’s global growth and added to Vape Summit III’s diverse lineup of exhibitors.
Stuff You Can’t Buy (Bad): Vape Summit III had some of the most beautiful and amazing mods I’ve ever seen in my life. Unfortunately, the products that dazzled me the most weren’t available for direct sale. Some were available in auctions (rumor has it that my friend Vince won a box mod for a bid of…wait for it…$4,000). Other rare products were available on a raffle-to-buy basis. While I understand that these products are extremely limited and the logistics of selling them fairly at a trade show can be difficult, I loathe the raffle-to-buy system. Paying for a chance to spend a lot of money on a mod or bidding thousands of dollars on mod promotes the elitism in vaping that bugs me. While I’m happy that the modders made a lot of money, I’m generally against things that encourage elitism in vaping.
Registration Line (Bad): Nate and I arrived at Vape Summit III about an hour after the show floor opened. I expected the line to be dead at this point. Instead, it was about 100 people deep and some attendees said that they were waiting for more than an hour. Considering that day one was business-to-business and VIP attendees only, this was inexcusable. An hour later, I received an email from Vape Summit III’s PR agency, telling me to go to the “High Roller” section for expedited badge pickup; that information would have been exponentially more useful before the show started. All of these things reflect a young and inexperienced business. Like I touched on earlier, I’ve worked a lot of trade shows in the consumer electronics, videogame, and entertainment industries. Compared to those events, vaping shows have a lot to learn logistically. Aside from ECC, none of the shows I’ve been to have an understanding of how to work with the press. Please keep in mind that I’m not complaining, just observing. I’m sure that these shows will figure it out eventually, but right now they’re doing things that irritate paying customers and lose opportunities with the media. I want all of these shows to get better, for their sake and the sake of the business.
Good Times (Good, Duh): Criticisms aside, Vape Summit III was a fantastic show for RPadTV. Nate, Lawrence, and I got a ton done, having lots of fun filming. The show organizers should be commended for everything they did to make Vape Summit III a great event. Most of the exhibitors I chatted with said it was a productive show and all the general attendees I spoke with had a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone involved for providing a comfortable and enjoyable environment. Again, huge thanks to Nate and Lawrence for helping me at the show. Now onto the editing!
Last night’s boxing match (hard to call it a “fight”) between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao was disappointing. The most lucrative bout in the sport’s history, it was pugilistic clinic by Mayweather that didn’t exactly electrify the crowd. While Manny had a few moments of flashy offense and stunned Mayweather a few times, “Money” dominated the fight. For various reasons, many Pacquiao fans aren’t giving Mayweather the credit he deserves. As a hardcore boxing fan, I find all the talk of “all Mayweather did was run” and “Mayweather was holding all night” incredibly annoying; it shows that many Filipino boxing fans — especially the ones that only watch Pacquiao fights — don’t understand the sport at all. Before I rant more about that, let’s get to the official particulars.
Judge Dave Moretti scored it 118-110, while judges Glenn Feldman and Burt Clements had it 116-112. I was scoring the fight and gave Pacquiao two rounds, matching Moretti’s score. I also put an asterisk next to two rounds, noting that they were tough to score, so the 116-112 scores seem reasonable to me.
According to CompuBox, Mayweather landed 148 of 435 punches (34 percent), while Pacquiao landed 81 of 429 punches (19 percent). With those numbers in mind, I find it hilarious that ignorant fans have accused Mayweather of “only” holding and running. While he certainly held more than ever before and fought backwards for the majority of the fight, he also landed 67 more punches than Pacquiao and was the more accurate fighter.
Clean Punching — Mayweather landed more shots and cleaner shots. He was accurate with his jab, straight counter-right, and check hook. Even when Manny managed to land combinations, many of his punches were partially blocked.
Effective Aggression — Many Pacquiao supporters claim that Manny should have gotten more credit for being the aggressor. While it’s obvious to anyone that Pacquiao was pushing the pace, he wasn’t aggressive in an effective manner. His low connect percentage reflects his ineffective aggression.
Ring Generalship — This is where Mayweather excelled and this is what’s lost on many Pacquiao fans. For the majority of the fight, Mayweather controlled the pace and distance. Again, the numbers support this. This was Pacquiao’s lowest and least accurate output for a 12-round fight; it had everything to do with Mayweather’s fantastic ability to control other fighters.
Keep in mind that I’m not a fan of Mayweather’s personality at all. I was rooting for Pacquiao and hoped that the God he prays to would bless him with a miracle. Even though I think Mayweather is a woman-beating piece-of-crap, his boxing ability is undeniably spectacular. The fight went pretty much how I thought it would — a dominant but unexciting boxing clinic by Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Many fans are denying Mayweather’s dominance of Pacquiao due to ignorance. They simply don’t understand the sport of boxing and their whining is irritating me. It makes it look like Filipinos are homers that have no idea what boxing is about — they just complain about holding and running, while ignoring punch output and ring generalship. If you judged the fight logically and objectively, the only reasonable conclusion is that Mayweather thoroughly outboxed Pacquiao.
Anyway, that’s my take on the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao boxing match and how some stupid fans have reacted to it. What did you think of the fight? Yeah, it was a snoozer, but I don’t see how anyone could deny Mayweather’s performance. If you watched the fight, please share your thoughts on it in the comments section.
Avengers Age of Ultron is sure to delight most fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie has everything that made the first Avengers movie incredibly popular — fantastic special effects, awesome action sequences, and snappy Joss Whedon dialogue. As a lifelong comics nerd, my usual pet peeve with comic book movies is deviating greatly from the source material. To my surprise, I really liked the major changes made for the movie.
While I greatly enjoyed Avengers Age of Ultron and will definitely see it in theaters again, there were a few things about it that bugged me. Below is the customary RPadTV binary breakdown of the film. As always, I’d love to hear what you have to say about the movie, so after you’ve seen it, kindly share your thoughts in the comments section. Now turn on your spoiler shields and let’s get avenging!
Ultron Owns (Good): I’m a big fan of the comics version of Ultron. Since the movie version is very different, I was worried about this incarnation of the robotic bad-ass. The original was created by Hank Pym (Ant-Man, Goliath, Yellow Jacket, etc.) and based on his brain patterns. The movie version was created by Tony Stark and based on his personality. That made for a highly entertaining baddie. Whereas comics Ultron is a megalomaniac that’s hellbent on wiping out organic life, the movie version is like a warped version of Tony Stark with the “sardonic dick” dial turned to 11. Like the original, movie Ultron is powerful, ruthless, and brilliant. Unlike the original, movie Ultron is hilarious and witty. Despite the fact that movie Ultron wants to destroy humanity, you kind of want to have a drink with him (yes, I know he can’t actually enjoy liquor, but still….).
Some of the early reviews of Avengers Age of Ultron criticized the movie’s villain, saying that Ultron wasn’t nearly as good as Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. I could not disagree more. Even though he was very different from the comics version, I thoroughly enjoyed the Ultron character. James Spader had fun material to work with and he rocked it.
Incredible Action (Good): This aspect of Avengers Age of Ultron was completely expected, but enjoyable nonetheless. I loved the blend of CG special effects and melee choreography. The effects — there are just so many cool ones to choose from. As for combat, there were a few Captain America scenes that made me utter a Keanu Reeves, “Whoa.”
Black Widow and Hulk (Bad): While the first Avengers movie was very Iron Man heavy, Avengers Age of Ultron was far more of an ensemble effort. The movie gave more characters time to shine than the original did. Unfortunately, it also gave us plot lines like the romance between Black Widow and Hulk. This bit did absolutely nothing for me. It felt forced and unnatural; going into the movie, I couldn’t imagine these characters having a romantic relationship and the actors/script did nothing to change that. This plot was a waste of time — a poor excuse to give Scarlett Johansson more screen time.
Hawkeye Surprises (Good): To my surprise, Hawkeye had a lot of screen time and great material to work with. As one of the “normal” humans on the team, Hawkeye’s mortality and fragility help make him more interesting and easier to identify with. I enjoyed how Avengers Age of Ultron played on the fact that he’s just a guy with a bow that’s hanging out with Norse gods, gamma irradiated powerhouses, and dude’s with billion-dollar self-defense suits. Showing that Hawkeye has a normal family life in addition to his insane Avengers life, was a fun touch.
Captain America’s Mighty Magnets (Bad): I hated Cap’s magnetized gauntlets, even though they make his unbelievable shield-throwing somewhat more believable. This is a total fanboy complain and I’m well aware of this, but I love Cap’s ability to ricochet his shield at impossible angles, hitting multiple targets, always having it return to his arm. While magnetized gauntlets that help the shield return to his arm makes sense, I preferred Cap’s shield-throwing being one of his inexplicable abilities.
Whedon Witticisms (Good and Bad): Some of the early reviews of Avengers Age of Ultron said that Whedon’s dialogue seems tired and dated. I respect that opinion, but disagree with it. As a fan of dense and witty dialogue, I very much enjoyed the movie’s script. While some called the snappy dialogue tired, I found it familiar and entertaining.
Quicksilver (Bad): Seconds after Quicksilver was introduced I thought, “Wow. Kick-Ass got a crappy costume and an even crappier accent.” Although I enjoyed how Quicksilver’s storyline ended in Avengers Age of Ultron, I thought he was mostly lame until his resolution.
Scarlett Witch (Good): Sure, the movie version of Scarlett Witch basically had Phoenix’s powers — a combination of telepathic and telekinetic abilities. Given how vague and ridiculous her “hex” powers in the comics are, I understand the change, even though her powers were awfully convenient in several scenes. All that said, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Chase Olsen is beautiful and I’ve been ready for ascent for nearly two years. She made the Scarlett Witch how in Avengers Age of Ultron.
Vision (Good): I enjoyed the movie version of Vision. He was cool, calm, and collected character. His power’s special effects were fun to see. Vision had one of the most enjoyable “Wow!” moments of the movie when he handed Thor his hammer. A more subtle moment (that totally got me) was when he checked out Thor’s cape, admired it, and grew himself a cape. Out of all the new heroes introduced in Avengers Age of Ultron, Vision was my favorite. I’ve enjoyed Paul Bettany’s acting and the character’s special effects were slick.
Bottom Line: Aside from the banal and insipid romance between Black Widow and Hulk, I only had minor complaints about Avengers Age of Ultron. I very much enjoyed the movie, will see it again in theaters, and watch it dozens of times after it’s available digitally. It has everything I want from a summer movie — great action, snappy dialogue, and fantastic special effects. While I understand why some people won’t enjoy Avengers Age of Ultron, I think those people enjoy killing fun. If you’re any kind of comics nerd, go see this movie now!
POET Electronic Nectar is one of my favorite e-liquid companies in the world, so I was thrilled that CEO Randy Freer was kind enough to stop by Vape Star Los Angeles for The Vape 48. The company makes several complex e-liquid blends that I absolutely adore and Randy is one of the nicest people I’ve met in the vaping business (or any business, really). More importantly for you guys and dolls, Randy is quite smart and interesting. To kick off this episode of The Vape 48, he gave an update on what’s happening with POET and talked about his involvement with the Njoy Artist Collection.
Many enthusiast vapers think of Njoy as a mainstream e-cigarette company that sells basic “cigalike” products. The Artist Collection is a series of e-liquids geared towards enthusiast vapers and made by some of the top juice creators in the world. As a fan of POET, I’m jazzed that Randy is involved with the Artist Collection and it was fun hearing him talk about the project.
On the hardware side, Randy brought a pair of small 18350 tube mods and a pair of box mods to chat about. He’s been thrilled with the stealth-vaping combo of the Monake Vape Calvert mod and the Praxis Vapors Derringer atomizer. The Damascus steel Element Mods 18350 prototype he brought was absolutely gorgeous. On the box mod front, Randy has been enjoying the Vapor Shark rDNA and the Sigelei 100. My hardware pick was the original Youde Tech Goblin, one of the best rebuildable tank atomizers I’ve tried as far as vapor production goes. Since the time this interview was filmed (February 2015), Youde has updated the Goblin and addressed the capacity shortcoming I mentioned in the video below. If you’re a cloud chaser that wants some capacity, the Youde Goblin is a compelling choice.
On the juice side, Randy brought four e-liquids from Proper Vape. He was enamored by the complexity of these juices and how they used tobacco as a complementary flavor. I brought Vader from Cyber Liquids (a delicious cookie dough juice) and Don Pedro from Bizarre Juice Supply (a wonderful dessert and tobacco blend).
Check out my chat with POET Electronic Nectar CEO Randy Freer for an update on his excellent company and to learn more about all the products mentioned above.
There were a ton of box mods on display at VapeCon Manila 2015 and the most unique box mod I saw was the Modulo from Ripple Works. A modular box mod, the Modulo can accommodate dual-18350 or dual-18650 batteries. The battery receptacles can be hot swapped, allowing for some nice versatility. In 18350 mode, the mod measures 65mm high, for a nice and powerful stealth setup. When maximum power and battery life is needed, the Modulo measures 95mm high. While the modular aspect of the Modulo is its most obviously unique feature, I loved its simple and elegant style. Ripple Works co-owner Bong Lising spent some time with me at the show to tell me about the Modulo.
The Modulo’s body is made from T6 aluminum, with delrin inserts that aid in heat dissipation. All the contacts are gold plated, allowing for excellent conductivity and corrosion resistance. The contacts are adjustable, allowing the use of nipple-top and flat-top batteries. Lastly, the firing button is insulated and Bong guaranteed that it won’t accidentally shock anyone.
One of the advantages of the Modulo’s design is that it’s expandable. Bong promised some unique add-ons for the device in the future. While he wouldn’t say exactly what they would be, I’m going to guess that a phone charging module will be released. That seems to be an easy module to make and one that many vapers would find useful. My “wish” module for the Modulo is an SX350 add-on. While I love my mechs, I’ve been vaping mostly regulated devices in 2015 and I’d love to see what Ripple Works can do with the SX350 chipset.
As I mentioned in the intro, VapeCon Manila 2015 was pretty much box mod heaven. I saw loads of cool boxes, but the one I wanted the most was the Modulo. The features are unique, cool, and versatile. The aesthetics very much appeal to me. And it appears to be a well-crafted device. The Modulo is hitting shelves in small quantities now and I hope I can get my hands on one. In Internet speak, “Want!!!”
The Force Vapors CEO Eric Trotter and I chatted back in February for this episode of The Vape 48, filmed at Vape Star Los Angeles. Eric has a number of cool things going on with this company, many of which I’ll get to see next week at The Vape Summit III in Las Vegas. On the juice side, he’ll have two new flavors that will debut at The Vape Summit. The Force Vapors is partnering with Cloud Kicker Society for some excellent t-shirts. Last year, The Force Vapors had some awesome box mods that Star Wars fans loved; I sorta kinda expect an updated version next week…that may or may not appeal to fans of Jedi masters…but that’s just conjecture.
On the juice side, Eric brought SBP by Turncoat Industries. He doesn’t vape a lot of juices that he doesn’t make himself, so I was intrigued by this southern bread pudding e-liquid (and also because it’s southern bread pudding!). My juice picks were a pair of complex and layered e-liquids from Tasty Cloud Vape Co — Stay Gold and Skyline. The former is a mix of apple, caramel, vanilla, and tobacco, while the latter blends pineapple, cake, coconut, and hazelnut. I liked Skyline, but loved Stay Gold.
Wrapping things up with hardware, Eric brought the Vicious Ant VariAnt Ti Slim. A sleek, beautiful, and versatile box mod from the Philippines, it’s been one of Eric’s favorite vaping devices for the last few months. I brought a box mod that’s not nearly as cool, but quite versatile and very affordable — the Sigelei 150. In a very short time, the Sigelei 150 has become one of my favorite “beater” mods.
Check out my full chat with The Force Vapors Eric Trotter below for more details on everything mentioned above. He’s a cool guy that makes some great juice!