Vaping Diaries #348: Rage Box Modz Interview

Box mods are the hotness in 2015, but with so many choices out there, it’s hard to pick one that’s right for you. Rage Box Modz offers a number of box mods and generous service that makes the company’s wares worth a look. Rage Box Modz products are assembled in the USA and are backed by a lifetime warranty. According to company founder and owner Charles Long, it doesn’t matter how you acquired a Rage Box Modz products; whether you purchased it directly from the company, picked one up in a trade, or found one on the side of the road, the company will take care of your product. Seeing that level of customer service in the vaping world is fantastic.

Rage Box Modz offers a variety of 18650 and 26650 box mods in a number of colors. You can choose a parallel battery configuration for maximum battery life or a series configuration for raw power. The boxes are available in five different colors — black, white, kiwi green, Tiffany blue, and pink. You can see the various finishes in the video below.

In addition to offering some great box mods, the company offers 3D printed battery holders. Resembling a hip flask, these holders can accommodate 18650 and 26650 batteries in various configurations. I have too many friends that have left batteries in their pockets and had them short out on their keys or something (and really, I expert better from you guys and gals). Rage Box Modz 3D printed battery holders are a fantastic way to carry your batteries safely.

To learn more about Rage Box Modz, see some of the finishes the company offers, see the 3D printed battery holders, and hear a tease about the company’s upcoming Raptor chip box, check out my chat with Charles below.

(For the record, I flubbed the out in this interview. As always, I will blame RPadholic N8R and absolve myself from all responsibility.)

Vaping Diaries #347: Mad Carpenter Curve V2 Box Mod Interview

The Mad Carpenter makes some of the most beautiful handcrafted box mods in the vaping business. The company’s Curve Mod featured gorgeous workmanship and an ergonomic design. Its followup, the Curve v2, features the same design language as its forerunner and adds a Yihi SX350 variable-wattage chip. At Vape Summit III, I caught up with The Mad Carpenter owner and craftsman Brandyn Young to talk about the Curve v2.

While the original batch of Curve Mods features various types of woods, the Curve v2 combines wood burls and Alumilite resin. The latter material has allowed Brandyn to get super creative with numerous color combinations. A lot of my friends at the show were enamored with the beautiful aesthetics of the Curve v2. I was absolutely smitten with the red, blue, and purple box Brandy was holding throughout the interview.

I’ve always found it amusing that so many mod collectors are high on various European box mods. In my opinion, companies like The Mad Carpenter and Harlequinn Woodworks make box mods that are every bit as beautiful as anything coming out of Europe. As someone that places high value on customer support and service, I’m more comfortable purchasing a high-end American box mod than a high-end European box mod, simply because it’s easier to get something fixed should something go wrong. Personally, I feel happy when I buy a made-in-the-USA product from an American small business.

The politics of personal economics aside, you should definitely check out my chat with The Mad Carpenter Brandyn Young on the Curve v2 box mod. Curve v2 mods are beautiful pieces of vaping art that are made right here in Southern California. The video below shows various finishes available. If you have any ideas for a custom Curve v2 color combination then check out The Mad Carpenter on Instagram and drop Brandyn a line.

Vaping Diaries #346: The Beginning of the End E-Liquid Interview

From the vault comes a Vape Summit III chat with The Beginning of the End manager Casey Doty. A friend from another e-liquid company told me to check out The Beginning of the End because he knows that I’m from New York and miss New York cannolis. Said colleague hails from Brooklyn, so I took his word that this company had an amazing cannoli juice. I was delighted to discover that The Beginning of the End makes a fantastic cannoli e-liquid. RPadholic N8R and I were also charmed by the company’s Southern hospitality — really warm and fun people. In the interview below, Casey told me about the company’s concept, the background of the juice maker, and three current flavors.

The Beginning of the End e-liquids are made by Christopher Bowman. Trained at Le Cordon Blue culinary school, Christopher uses his background to create layered and complex e-liquids. The Beginning of the End juices that I tried featured multiple notes, offering different (and delicious) flavors on the inhale and exhale.

The three flavors Casey told me about were Trinity, Serenity, and Verticality. Naturally, I was enamored with Trinity, as it was the only cannoli e-liquid I was aware of when this interview was filmed. If you’ve enjoyed cannolis in the past then you must try this juice. If you’ve never had a cannoli then go out and eat one before trying Trinity. Next up, Casey told me about Serenity. Vaping this e-liquid is just like eating a lemon bar at a coffeehouse. You get the tangy lemon, sweet crust, and powdered sugar. Last, but not least, was Verticality, a strawberry pastry e-liquid that Casey equated with a Pop Tart.

Casey also told me about an upcoming e-liquid from The Beginning of the End. It’s a rum-infused peach cobbler that’s aged in oak barrels for two months. I tried a bit at the show and loved the direction the juice was heading in.

To learn more about The Beginning of the End, check out my chat with Casey below.

Vaping Diaries #317: VLS Vector RDA & Box Mod Prototype Interview (Vape Summit)

Vapour Lifestyle had a trio of fascinating products at Vape Summit III. Following up on the success of the Vulcan RDA — one of my favorites of 2014 — is the Vector RDA. This atomizer retains some of the best features of its forerunner, while adding several exciting new ones. VLS also had a pair of proof-of-concept box mod prototypes at the show, hinting on things to come. I chatted with VLS head of marketing and product development James Ting to learn more about the Vector RDA and the box mod prototypes.

Like the Vulcan RDA, the Vector RDA uses deep under-passing juice wells, allowing for great juice capacity. It also uses a familiar three-post design. That’s pretty much where the similarities end. The posts on the Vector RDA are beefier and use hex screws. The center post has a smart design that prevents spinning. Airflow on the Vector RDA is handled in a completely different way than how its forerunner managed it; the Vector RDA takes in air through the top of the atomizer. Up to eight holes can be opened up for maximum airflow, while a simple twist of the top cap changes the airflow. The built-in drip tip has a removable mesh screen for spit-back protection, but can easily be removed for rinsing or taken off permanently if you prefer maximum airflow. In the short time I’ve spent with the Vector RDA, it seems like another winner from VLS — an affordable atomizer with novel features and a great price.

As I mentioned in the intro, VLS had a pair of proof-of-concept box mod prototypes. The boxes were 3D-printed designs made to give people an idea of what’s possibly coming next from VLS. One of the box mods had a metal frame that resembled a “Z” and the other one had a frame that resembled an “X.” Check out the video below to see what these form factors look like. As someone that’s completely bored with C-frame mods, it was nice to see VLS showing off some original designs. James mentioned that VLS is interested in using Yihi SX350 chips for these box mods.

Since the company started, VLS has strived to offer high-quality vaping products that are easily attainable. From what the company had on display at Vape Summit III, it looks like 2015 will be another successful year for VLS. The Vector RDA is already a hot product and the box mod prototypes really stand out. Check out the video below for all the details.

Vaping Diaries #316: Steam Crave Aromamizer RDA Interview (Vape Summit)

Steam Crave’s Aromamizer RDA is a unique atomizer aimed at flavor chasers. The atomizer uses cyclonic action that not only intensifies flavor, but also offers convenience. Since the Aromamizer RDA doesn’t use traditional side holes, it’s pretty much leak proof (unless you’re vaping upside down or in zero gravity). The Aromamizer RDA comes in two styles — round and hexagonal. The round model looks great on tube mods, while the hexagonal model looks sharp on box mods. In the interview below, Steam Crave consultant Barry Tang goes through the features of the Aromamizer RDA.

I’ve been using the Aromamizer RDA for a few weeks and I’m impressed with what it offers for the price. As a flavor guy, I appreciate that this atomizer was made with flavor enhancement in mind. That said, it’s no slouch when it comes to the cloud department. Sure, you’re not going to win any cloud competitions with this atomizer, but the Aromamizer RDA can generate some decent clouds. Barry was quick to point out that as far as flavor atties go, the Aromamizer RDA puts out the biggest clouds in his experience. Keep in mind that Barry isn’t just a consultant for Steam Crave, but widely known in the vaping community for his excellent Pegasus Vapor Academy work. He chooses his words carefully.

In addition to talking about the Aromamizer RDA, Barry told me about some upcoming tanks from Steam Crave. One model will be a rebuildable tank atomizer, while the other will use replaceable coils. I’m curious to see how these Steam Crave tanks will perform. The Aromamizer RDA offers nice performance for a low price; if the tanks offer a similar experience then vapers should definitely keep their eyes peeled for them. To learn more about the Aromamizer RDA, check out my Vape Summit III chat with Barry below.

Vaping Diaries #315: Bay City Vapor Nami RDA & E-Liquid Interview

One of my favorite mod makers in the world, Bay City Vapor’s James Livingston had a lot going on at Vape Summit III. James launched a new line of vaping e-liquids at the show and unveiled the Nami RDA. Since I last chatted with James on camera, Bay City Vapor released the Assassin Mod. In the Vape Summit III interview below, James spoke about all three products.

Getting the oldest out of the way, the Assassin Mod is an inexpensive mechanical with an MSRP of $49.99. Don’t let the low price fool you, as the Assassin has many features found in mods costing more than twice the price. James detailed the Assassin’s features during our chat.

Perhaps the most exciting product Bay City Vapor had at Vape Summit III, the Nami RDA is a unique atomizer that offers a crazy amount of versatility. The cool thing about the Nami RDA is that it allows users to manipulate the airflow going into and out of the atomizer. As a flavor fiend, I was particularly enamored by the potential of creating dense vapor for some fantastic flavor. The four-post deck, which I unfortunately wasn’t allowed to film at this time, allows for a wide variety of builds too. The Nami RDA is ready for bottom-feeding mods and doesn’t require a separate post for squonking. Simply removing a screw from the center post allows the atomizer to work with bottom-feeding mods. Honestly, I’m too dumb to properly explain the Nami RDAs numerous features and recommend listening to James explain it below.

Last, but certainly not least is Bay City Vapor’s new juice line. Named after various surf spots, the line is launching with five dessert flavors. 56th Street is a strawberry cake. James was quick to point out that it’s not a strawberry cheesecake e-liquid (a common flavor in Southern California), but a moist yellow cake flavor with strawberry. Black’s Beach is a cheesecake that allows you to taste the graham cracker crust and some caramel in the background. Mavericks is a triple-C — a creamy caramel custard. Scripps is a sugar cookie and praline blend. Finally, Trestles taste just like Rice Krispies Treats. I vaped at least a milliliter of each of these flavors and, as a dessert vape fan, am digging all of them. I haven’t vaped enough to pick a favorite, but I have a feeling that it’s going to be tough to choose one from this delicious line of e-liquids.

Anyway, that’s enough from me. Check out my chat with James to learn more about the Nami RDA, the new e-liquids, and the Assassin Mod.

Vaping Diaries #314: Vigilante Juice Co Interview (Vape Summit)

I first met Vigilante Juice Co at ECC 2014 and was immediately enamored by the company’s e-liquids. Vigilante Juice Co — and its offshoot Twig and Berries line — offers some delicious and complex juices that are right in my wheelhouse. Initially focusing on layered dessert flavors, I’m a big fan of the company’s juices. Back at ECC 2014, I chatted with company co-owner Russ Scarbrough to learn about the company and some of its flavors. At Vape Summit III, I caught up with his partner in crime (vigilantism?) Ashley West to get an update on the company and learn about some new offerings.

Ashley told me about two new e-liquids in the Vigilante Juice Co and Twig and Berries arsenal — Poison Apple and My Own Summer. Poison Apple is a confectionary treat of apple and salted caramel, while My Own Summer is a melange of mango and green tea. The former was released in Fall 2014 (after my initial meeting with the company) and tastes like a wonderful autumn treat. The latter is a brighter and more refreshing blend that’s perfect for summertime. Being a Los Angeles resident, seasons have no meaning, so both of these juices are great for me year round. (And to be honest, I’m pretty much a sucker for anything with salted caramel.)

While the company has attained an ardent following with its dessert blends, Ashley told me that Vigilante Juice Co’s next few flavors will likely emphasize fruit flavors, rounding out the company’s offerings. If My Own Summer is any indication of what Vigilante Juice Co can do with fruit, then I expect more delightful, layered, and complex e-liquids from the company. I can’t wait to see what these guys and gals do next! For more information on My Own Summer and Poison Apple, as well as hints on the future of Vigilante Juice Co and Twig and Berries, check out the video interview below.

Vaping Diaries #312: Pro-Wrestler Willie Mack Talks Vaping

The last interview RPadholic N8R and I filmed at Vape Summit III was one of my favorites — a conversation with outstanding pro-wrestler and avid vaper Willie Mack. I first met Willie Mack at an IMProof rally in Los Angeles last year and have been anxious to get him on camera ever since. It’s funny that we’re both in Los Angeles, but only managed to connect in Las Vegas. Ha! Logistical curiosities aside, Willie Mack is known for his awesome combination of dynamic moves and power moves. If you haven’t seen him work then I highly recommend searching for his matches on YouTube. The dude can flat-out go!

In our chat below, Willie Mack talks about moving from Blu e-cigs to enthusiast vaper hardware. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Filipinos got him into hardcore vaping. (If you’re not familiar with the SoCal vaping scene, there are a ton of Filipino vapers.) His current setup of choice is a Sigelei box mod, a Plume Veil atomizer, and a glass atty cap. Willie Mack also spoke about the types of vaping e-liquids he enjoys. He’s a longtime fan of ube e-juice and has recently gotten into strawberry cheesecake e-liquids.

While Willie Mack has always had strong cardio, he said that switching from smoking to vaping has helped his wind. Since he’s always vaping in the locker room, many of the boys have wondered what he’s puffing on. He has gotten several pro-wrestlers to make the switch to vaping. Willie Mack noted that fellow pro-wrestlers Rey Mysterio, Jr., Konnan, and Mike Modest are vapers.

Lastly, I approached Willie Mack about being his manager. The gimmick would be that I’d sneak him a stacked 26650 mod or something while the referee wasn’t looking. I think you should bug him on Instagram and Twitter to make this idea a reality (please!). It’s awesome that a great pro-wrestler and all around cool guy like Willie Mack is a vaper. Get to know him a bit better by watching our chat below.

Vaping Diaries #311: Hyon USA Pugio & Pi2 Interview (Vape Summit)

A relatively new company to the vaping world (opened for business in November 2014), Hyon USA has made a big splash in a short amount of time. The company has released a series of quality mechanical mods available in several unique and beautiful finishes. Vapers have been digging the looks and performance of Hyon USA’s mods. Following up on these products, Hyon USA is set to release a pair of rebuildable dripping atomizers (RDAs). At Vape Summit III, I chatted with company president Fernando Solis to learn more about these vaping atomizers.

First up is the Pugio. A versatile atomizer with atypical features, the Pugio is a flavor atty out of the box, but will satisfy cloud chasers with accessories. The Pugio has a simple and elegant style (my personal preference), with some interesting features under the hood. Instead of using traditional post holes, this atomizer has vapers place wire between a screw and a wall. Solis proudly said that this makes the Pugio easier for builders of all skill levels to work with. As someone that can build okay-ish (I can make good coils, but I am slow), I’m looking for to seeing how easy the Hyon USA Pugio is to work with. As a flavor fiend, I like what the atomizer offers (on paper).

The second atomizer coming from Hyon USA is the Haus of Zombi Pi2. Labeled as the vaping industry’s “first post-less atomizer,” the Pi2 atomizer is geared towards flavor chasers. This “flat-top atomizer” has vapers slip the wire into four holes on the deck. Looking at a still photo of the Pi2 atomizer, I thought that it looked cool, but had no idea how it worked. It’s way different from any atomizer that I’ve seen. Thankfully, Fernando explained the Pi2 atomizer to me in the interview below.

You can learn more about the Hyon USA Pugio and Pi2 by checking out the video below. Both atomizers should be available in June 2015. Fernando also teased a few Hyon USA products coming later in 2015. After checking out the company’s atomizers at Vape Summit III, it looks like Hyon USA will follow up on its successful mods quite splendidly.

Vaping Diaries #310: Top Hat Mods Interview (Vape Summit)

Top Hat Mods makes the most beautiful vaping box mods I’ve ever seen. That’s not an overstatement or an exaggeration. I’ve seen a lot of box mods and many of them look great. The ones I’ve seen from Top Hat Mods are, quite easily, the most exquisite vaping devices I’ve laid my eyes on. At Vape Summit III, it was a pleasure meeting Top Hat Mods owner and modder Steve Dockery. He told me about his background in art and going from a bored vape shop owner to the maker of some of the most sought after pieces of vaping hardware.

Top Hat Mods had several limited edition models at Vape Summit III. Many of them can be seen in the video below. Vapers that are Star Wars fans were delighted to see box mods based on Darth Vader, Yoda, Darth Maul, Boba Fett, Storm Troopers, R2D2, and more. Whether you’re patriotic, into comic books, a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or just love beautiful box mods, Top Hat Mods’ Captain America limited edition is a sight to see. This star-spangled mod was one of the coolest things I saw at Vape Summit and it totally appealed to me as a comics nerd. All of these limited edition come with the mod, a matching pen made from the same block of wood as the mod, and a matching atomizer.

Steve spoke about the various DNA40 and SX350 models available, as well as future limited editions box mods. Off the top of his head, he hinted that Transformers fans will have something to look forward to in the near future. The idea of an Optimus Prime SX350 box made by Top Hat Mods sounds brilliant! Naturally, I got Steve to commit — on camera! — to making an RPadTV model with my face on it. Ha!

While I love the work that Top Hat Mods has done, I love even more that Steve Dockery is pushing the envelope on vaping mods as art. His work is absolutely beautiful.