The ProVape Interview
AS it is with any of our major reviews, we love to get with one of the founders, or at least one of the top executives to discuss their products, or the industry. We would be excited to meet with a V.P., or even the CEO’s like Jason Healy, Ken Burg, or Nick Molina. So you can imagine our excitement when we had a chance to ask questions of the entire ProVape Team.
Here’s some of the best Q & A from our conversations. – John Manzione/Editor
1. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. Let’s get it to it then; ProVape designs and manufactures right here in the USA. Why did you decide to manufacture here instead of China where most eCig products are made?
There are two reasons. The first was that we wanted to make sure we had full control over the quality and production of the device. Chinese manufacturers are known for inconsistent quality. They often cut corners to save costs and send the customer defective goods. The second reason was that we were tired of seeing manufacturing jobs sent overseas. We were in a position to do something about it, so we did. Lead by example. So, by producing everything here in the USA not only are we supporting US companies and American workers but we are also able to closely monitor production. This allows us to maintain a standard of building the best products available.
2. The people behind ProVape come from varied backgrounds, including military electronics and computers. How do these backgrounds help when it comes to building vaping products?
Our combined background and experiences play a big part in producing high quality, long life products. A great example is with the computer inside the ProVari. It was designed using military design rules; so it’s going to last and hold up to everyday abuse. A lot of work went into it to make it reliable, but even more went into it to make it safe.
3. What was it about eCigarettes that inspired ProVape’s existence, why eCigarettes?
This all started when we first tried some of the cheap electronic cigarettes on the market. After about two months of using those, we were extremely frustrated. The batteries didn’t last more than 45 minutes per charge and for me (as a full time smoker), I had to carry around 6 to 8 batteries just to get through the day. Then, at night when I got home I had to recharge all these batteries, which took 2 hours each. Additionally, the charger would only charge one battery at a time. At one point I had to have three chargers going just to get set up for the next day. Over time I found that the batteries would fail after 4 weeks, so I was always purchasing new batteries. Finally, the performance was very poor: the problem was that after using a freshly charged battery for about 20 minutes, the battery power would drop. The amount of vapor production would diminish, so the experience was like pulling on a plugged up straw to get weak vapor. All of this got to be very frustrating and not worth the hassle. I wanted to experience electronic cigarettes because I liked the idea (cleaner, no second hand smoke, etc.), but found owning a pen style e-cig to be too much of an annoyance.
We sat down and started talking about how we could make a better device that would last all day on a single battery. We wanted to keep the vapor production consistent on each puff. We wanted to create a device that would bring together more of what a smoker was looking for and without all the battery hassles.
4. Does ProVape consider “vaping” to be a hobby or simply a method to deliver nicotine to those addicted to nicotine?
I think that Vaping is an alternate option to those who smoke cigarettes. For me, it was to replace cigarettes. Personally, I feel so much better after making the switch. I got my taste back, I had no more headaches (that I got from Cigarettes) and those around me (who don’t smoke) no longer had to smell that horrible cigarette smell or breathe second hand smoke. I also like the idea that people can start their nicotine level at high, then work down to medium, low and eventually zero. Even at zero nicotine you can still puff on the device for the habit part of smoking. The flavors are also much better. I never personally liked the taste of cigarettes and with all the different flavors that are available; it makes it much more enjoyable.
5. Spinfuel recently had the pleasure of using a ProVape ProVari Mini, in black. Why did the team decide to create a “mini” version of the ‘famed’ Provari?
We wanted to make something smaller for those who were concerned about size when leaving the house. We were also getting a lot of requests and we listen to our customers and try our best to give them what they want.
6. Why, in your opinion, does the name “ProVari” spark so much admiration, envy, and “product lust”? It is often referred to as the Rolls Royce of VV mods. Why?
I think it comes down to the quality and functionality. We don’t cut corners when it comes to quality. We continuously strive to build the best, safest and highest quality e-cigarettes money can buy. We believe in our products. Everyone who works for ProVape believes in what we do. As more and more people get frustrated with all the cheap Chinese devices on the market (which most are), when they get a hold of a ProVari it’s such an exciting and different experience. People around the world appreciate quality and after a while realize that with all the money they spent on cheap stuff they could have just purchased a higher quality ProVari in the first place and saved all the hassle and trouble.
7. Does Variable Voltage make a huge difference to the end-user? What type of end-user most benefits from a VV ProVari?
It really does. With the ProVari, not only do you have constant voltage but you also have the ability to change voltages. This allows the user total control of their experience. For example, when I first wake in the morning it’s nice to be able to turn down my device so it does not produce as much vapor – it doesn’t hit as hard. Then after morning, I can turn it up. There are times too when, say, you are out having some drinks and tend to crave more, you can turn the device up to get a stronger pull. Changing voltages can alter the flavor of the juice, so it’s nice having all this control. It’s quick and easy to adjust the voltage on the ProVari and it’s a really nice feature. It’s one of those things where you don’t know what you you’re missing until you try it.
8. In order to maintain a “minimalist” approach to the design of the “ProVari”, ProVape included a single button to manage many sophisticated functions. It has up to 15 button clicks to execute a function, has this method to change functions met with any customer resistance?
It’s a lot easier than it sounds. While we have had a handful of people comment: “Ohh my gosh, 15 button presses is horrible”, those are the people who have never owned a ProVari. The features that are most used are within a few button presses and those things that you won’t use as much are higher up in the menu hierarchy. Most of the time all you do is press the button one time and take a puff. Once you set the voltage that you like, there is nothing else you need to do. It’s a very clean, intuitive, and easy to use menu system. We have people all the time tell us they were concerned about the button presses but now that they have their device they found it to be really simple.
9. The ProVari Black Mini, which Spinfuel reviewed, performed spectacularly with a variety of Cartomizers, atomizers, and even a few DCT Tanks. In your opinion, is there a single, best performing set up for the ProVari Mini? If so, what is it?
We often recommend people begin with the 3 Ohm, Boge 510 Standard Resistance Cartomizer. This product offers a solid vaping experience. However, I think a lot of this is personal preference and with a device like this you have options: which is nice! We suggest that people try some of the various options for cartomizers, atomizers and tanks. Each person really needs to find what they personally like best. The most important thing is to have fun while trying all the different options and e-juice flavors.
10. ProVape offers a line of smoke juice, is your smoke juice made to work especially well with the ProVari line? Your juice is made “to order” as well, why does that make a difference to the vaping experience? How long will your juice remain “fresh” once the customer receives it?
Yes and no: our juice is made to work with any atomizer, cartomizer, tank, etc. However, experience has taught us that higher voltage devices tend to perform better with “thinner” more runny juice, so in some cases you could say that we have adjusted our formulas to make the juice flow easier. Fresh e-juice guarantees good quality. This goes hand-in-hand with our desire to supply only high quality products to our customers. Our juice will remain fresh for 6 months, when stored in a cool, dry place. We recommend refrigerating your juice.
11. Some smoke juice “mellows” or “blossoms” when left overnight in a cartomizer or cartridge. Does this hold true of your juices as well, or is there no difference between allowing it to sit overnight or used right after filling.
I think this is the case with all juices. I notice that when the cartomizer has some time to soak up the juice it increases the flavor.
12. Getting back to the ProVari Variable Voltage; the unit we reviewed is able to maintain steady output no matter how much power is left in the battery. Why is that important for the end-user? Is this feature across the entire line of ProVari’s?
One of the core features of the ProVari product line is the consistent production of vapor. We use specialized power boosting circuitry to keep the voltage constant throughout the life of the battery. This feature is hugely important. With this technology, the vaping experience doesn’t diminish as the battery drains. A user gets the same quality and amount of vapor throughout the entire day.
13. Can you offer our readers a few “tricks of the trade” for first time users of a Variable Voltage eCigarette? What is the fastest and most accurate way to find the proper voltage for a particular cartomizer or atomizer?
Start with a pack of 3 Ohm, Boge 510 Standard Resistance Cartomizers. Get a sample flavor pack from us and see what flavors you like. We suggest relatively “tame” flavors at first: vanilla, tobacco, menthol, cinnamon, etc. Start with the 18mg/ml nicotine strength. Begin with a low voltage and adjust upwards.
14. Why Boge? (ProVape offers a substantial discount to customers ordering 8 or more 5pcks) How many times can the customer refill a Boge cartomizer, typically?
We have tried many different cartomizers and Boge was the best we tried, so we settled on those. I get about 5-7 days on a cartomizer before I toss and grab a new one. So a 5 pack should last 3-4 weeks. It’s also nice to be able to fill your own cartridges. With the numerous reports of tainted Chinese products on the market, who knows what they are putting into their pre-filled cartridges. I like knowing exactly what I’m putting in the device. This allows me to select the flavor that I want and the brand of juice that I want. With so much news about the Chinese using lead in children’s toys and toxic pet treats, I would rather fill my own e-cig!
15. Many factors go into a good design, as you well know. It was been said that ProVape has a keen sense of design aesthetics. What are some of the most critical aspects of designing a product that will bear the ProVape/ProVari label?
We aim for simple and functional. It is scaled to fit the human hand and balanced so it isn’t awkward to hold. There is a certain beauty in a device that isn’t cluttered and is easy to use from the moment you pick it up. Honestly, any more or less makes for a product that will annoy people.
16. How long did it take to design the ProVari Black Mini?
Since the mini was essentially a shorter version of the ProVari, it didn’t take too long to make the change over. The toughest part was deciding on the exterior decoration!
17. Lastly, many of our readers are always looking for the ultimate vaping “experience”. Why should they opt for a “ProVari”?
Do you remember when Lee Iacocca said: “If you can find a better car… buy it.”? Although its part of a sales pitch, I think a statement like that is made by a company that believes in what it’s doing. We really feel that way too. We firmly believe that there is no better vaping experience available in the world today.
We would very much like to thank the entire team at ProVape for taking the time to answer our questions. We hope that you will read the accompanying review for the ProVape ProVari. As always, your comments are welcome below.
Interviewed by John Manzione/Editor in late June, 2012