Vaping With Julia & Keira – Fast Approaching Twenty Fourteen

A Non-News, Non-Review, Opinion piece by the Hartley-Barnes

This has been a banner year for the electronic cigarette industry wouldn’t you say? This goes for Spinfuel eMagazine as well, it has been a banner year for us too. There is so much to be proud of, and yet, there are still a handful of things to be ashamed of in this industry. But overall, 2013 will go down in e-cigarette history as the year we went mainstream, and then some.

We don’t know why people are surprised that it is now forecasted that our industry will exceed three billion in sales by the end of this year. When you consider how many people are quitting tobacco, and how many of them are choosing electronic cigarettes instead of the ineffective ‘sanctioned’ methods of nicotine patches, gum, drugs, and cold turkey [shudder!], is it any wonder that vaping is so often in the news? Allowing for unprecedented exposure the likes of which no advertising campaign could match, it’s now easy to see why smokers are, at the very least, giving vaping a try.

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Sadly, just ‘giving it a try’ in the current atomsphere can lead to losing many smokers back to tobacco since people new to electronic cigarettes have no real idea what to look for in hardware and eLiquid, and they have no clue what it costs. This leads to the bottom dwellers feasting off the innocents through the vilest of means. When this happens, and it happens too often, smokers cross off vaping so fast it can make your head swim. We have lots of work to do in this area of our industry and it’s going to take a concerted effort by consumers and vendors to educate smokers before they attempt to switch to vaping. But we’ll get to that.

The sheer number of products new to the shelves of vendors all over the world number in the thousands. We can’t possibly review them all, much less try them all, so this year has been a road to discovery for us as much as its been for you. We may have the ways and means to try a lot more product then the average Vaper, but when all is said and done, we have our favorites and we use them in our personal vaping. To give you an idea how much different we are, and how much the products of 2013 has replaced all the products we used in 2012, here’s a breakdown of the hardware we used this year, for our own pleasures.

The Spinfuel eMagazine Staff

This year the entire staff has had the pleasure (for the most part) of trying out so many PV, APV’s, and mods… tanks, clearomizers, RBA’s, and so very many eLiquids that it felt that we never had time to choose our favorites, though we actually did. At least that’s the way it may have looked to many of you.

But the truth is that despite so many different products we reviewed, we actually did develop favorites in both hardware and eJuice and embraced them. Whenever we weren’t using a product for review to would go back to our favorites and enjoy to our heart’s content.

We asked the staff this week to tell me what products they wound up keeping for themselves and what products they gave away, or threw away, or donated, or whatever. You might be surprised of some of the responses we received. Take a look.

Tom: My Vapor Zeus is still going strong. I do love that thing despite the high price for a 1300mAh battery! I know it looks like I’m puffing on a huge stogie, but it is a vapor producer like no other and its big enough to look just this side of silly while I vape with it. I’d love to have half a dozen of them; all charged and ready to go whenever I wanted one. But it’s not the only device I use, not by a long shot.

I also love my iTaste 134 (in Black). The iTaste VTR, as well as the brand new Zombie Edition ProVari are also part of my everyday hardware. How can you not love a vomit-green, spotted blood ProVari? I use carto-based tanks most of the time, some long-wick clearomizers as well. For personal use I never, ever, use these short-wick EVOD/T3/Tumbler coils.

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John M: For me it’s the little things; my Halo Cigs Tritons VV’s, my 1300mAh Spinners, and a ZMAX Mini Julia bought me. I still use my purple ProVari nearly every day, especially when I’m doing my solo eJuice reviews. Other than that, I’m not that interested in high-tech hardware. All the iTaste devices and other VV/VW tech are just not necessary for me to enjoy a good vape.

John Castle: I would say that the most memorable thing I’ve tried this year has been the Innokin iTaste VV 3. At roughly the same size and battery capacity as an eGo, it brings variable voltage, variable wattage, and resistance checking. Because of that size and form factor, anybody who likes the eGo platform for its combination of power and pocket friendliness was bound to fall in love with the iTaste VV 3, and I’m no exception to that rule.

Steven Kaderabek: What do I still use? That seems like such a simple question requiring a simple answer, but its not. On a daily basis I count on my ProVari topped with the Kayfun lite to provide the taste and vapor I desire. The ProVari is my go to everyday PV, but when I am in the mood to talk vaping, I take out the Innokin ITaste 134. The ITaste 134 will get even the slightest of curious people talking. When I need to be discrete I pair a Kanger ProTank Mini with an Ego 400mAh battery. So you see, its not a simple answer for a simple question. 2013 has been a great year for the Vaper and I expect great advances in 2014.

Jim Kurz: Well, I just may be the “newest” vaper of the group! I started vaping in May with a cig-a like (V2). Yes, I entered “best electronic cigarette” in google….Ha!  So I used that for about 3 weeks then won a 18650 device and never looked back. I primarily use an eVic and VV passthrough while at home and a simple ego battery when I’m on the go.  I use Kanger protanks and evods, iClear 30 and standard carto’s. Yep, I’m pretty simple and plain, no RBA’s, or dripping…..yet, maybe that comes in 2014!

 Jason: I love all the hi-tech stuff, so first and foremost I love my iTaste 134 (black) for the pure wattage feature. Love that dial, just rotate and go! My preferred tank for the 134 is the V-Fate by Vision. God I love those things! I also have, and use, the iTaste VTR, the MVP II, and a slew of others, from a ZMAX to the Tesla. I hate to say it, but I collect the stuff. Before any member of the staff gives something away it has to come by me first, if I already have it we can give it away, if not, it’s mine. Terrible, aren’t I?

Dave Foster: I quit vaping earlier this year, for about 3 or 4 months anyway. Just didn’t want to it anymore, none of the eJuice coming my way was making it worth doing. Then I got a taste of Rocket Fuel Vapes ‘Limerick’ and Ginger’s eJuice ‘Gingerbread Chai’, and Mountain Oak Vapors ‘White Leaf’ and I was back. I Vape with Halo Triton and Vision Spinner. I think I’d like a ProVari now; I’m starting to get that itch.

Julia: Lastly, there is myself. What do I vape with when I’m vaping on my own time, for my own pleasure? The ZMAX and ZMAX Mini, in as many colors as they offer, even the Red Brass and Yellow Brass and that wicked Black one. I use V-Fate carto-tanks, and simple 510-cartos when I vape for me.

Keira: I’m still using my eLips-C from Koko Vapes, my JoyeTech eGo-CC, and a couple of iridescence Halo Tritons, a 400mAh set and a 650mAh set. I WANT a ProVari, in Pink, and it’s on my Christmas list (by Jules knows that, don’t you honeybear?).

Like Jon-Boy I’m not that interested in the high-tech stuff. You know, I’d like to review the new Blu Cigs, if their batteries are better now then they were a year ago, I might become a steady user. Love the small size of their Premium 100’s. Someday even their “Premium” size (read=tiny) might be long-lasting vapor monsters, you know, when battery tech improves. Until then, well, I don’t know. Let’s review the new Blu! So my answer is the eLips-C, the JoyeTech eGo-CC and my Tritons. Next year? I have no idea, but I’m excited about it. (Keira dear, the Blu Cigs starter kit is now almost $100! Do you really think it’s changed so much that a $30 price increase is fair?)

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So, you see, everybody is different and when the curtain comes down, when the bedroom door closes, when no one is looking, we vape only a small amount of the products we review. Not because we don’t like the other devices, but how in the world can you manage 20 or 30 different devices at once? We ‘think’ that if we asked these guys in March of 2014 a lot of them would include the iClear 30S. We don’t have but a couple right now, but when we have plenty in stock more of us will use them regularly because they are great vapor producers, and they deliver authentic flavors, at least so far.

And what about eLiquids? Great New eLiquid Companies have joined in and spread a lot of great new juice all over the community. We are literally dripping in juice this year.

Julia-Keira Vaping with Julia Spinfuel eMagazineWe’ve said many times this year that e-Liquids are getting better and better, and they are. New companies like Rocket Fuel Vapes and The Vapor Chef, to name just two, have joined the ranks of older, wiser, and amazing companies like Johnson Creek Enterprises, Mountain Oak Vapors, Pink Spot, and Ginger’s eJuice, and all them, and more, are creating new flavors that makes vaping an even better experience than it was in 2012. You know, we would all have to vape around the clock and then some to vape all the great flavors out there, or just the ones Spinfuel reviewed this year alone. We can’t do it, sure, but its fun trying.

Next year there will be new players, some great, some not-so-great, and we’ll probably lose a few between now and then. But you what? There is plenty of room for many more eLiquid artists and companies, and we can’t wait to try them out, or as many as I can anyway.

 

Great Hardware Vendors

In the hardware vendor world there are new players, veteran players, and a few vendors that didn’t make it this year. That happens in all business sectors, and it will continue into 2014.

Well into our second year with MyVaporStore being the official supplier for Spinfuel eMagazine, these guys have been able to maintain incredible standards, great customer service, even better pricing, and they are nearly always have everything you need in stock and ready to ship. Best of all; they have quadrupled the size of their business this year, and are already looking to grow again.

Of course, MyVaporStore isn’t the only great vendor out there, but they are “our” choice for all our vape gear, just as you have your own favorite vendors. New companies, like Koko Vapes, are quickly coming along though, with great customer service and the dedication to grow into a huge business with tens of thousands of steady, and satisfied, customers. IF they keep up what they’re doing now I’m pretty sure they’ll make it in no time.

Some of you are probably thinking; “what about [insert name here]”, and all we can tell you is what we have said before, that we can only report, comment, or editorialize on companies we have first-hand knowledge of, so yes, I’m sure there are plenty of good vendors, but we don’t have any experience with them, so how can we vouch for them? We can’t, but you can. So tell us!

Lastly, we want to delve into the sad part of our industry. This is the part of the industry that we both look upon with shame. Shame, that is, on our industry for not doing more to stop these people.

The Scam Artist  

Every day we get four or five invitations via email to get our “risk free” or “totally free trial” e-cigarette starter kit. These are, of course, “The #1 e-Cigarette”, or “Voted Best e-Cigarette”, or even “Lasts 20 times longer than ANY other brand” e-cigarette starter kits, not just some normal cig-a-likes (smirk).

They all feature that special ‘hidden cost’ rip-off that ranges from $99 to $149 charge to your credit card before you’ve even had a chance to use the damn thing, and monthly charges from $79 to $99 a month for 56 cents worth of cartomizers.  They are complete garbage products, and there is simply no way on God’s green earth any of those claims are remotely possible or true. It’s downright sad that nothing has been done to these creeps that look to victimize innocent smokers looking to ditch the analog habit. Some of us in this side of the industry are trying to alert the public to these nasty, evil, schemes, but more needs to be done. We (Keira and Julia) are working on an idea that we will share with you before Christmas break.

Oh, and Spinfuel eMagazine is currently under threat of a lawsuit by one of these creeps. They want to sue us for, and we quote, “Killing their business”. To that company we say this; “Don’t make us laugh you sad little shit, you deserve to be in jail.”

We hope they do sue us, there is nothing more we’d like to see then having them sit before a judge and a jury (and oh yes, it would be jury trial we assure you) and explain how they justify their business practices. Goddamn bastards… all of them.

Okay, enough negativity…

2014 Will Be Amazing!

So, with all the great products and companies that appeared on the scene this year, we’re expecting even more great stuff for 2014. New mods, new APV’s, and a lot of new eLiquid are coming down the pike, and Spinfuel will be there to review as many of them as we can.

Sales in our industry this year was in the billions, I’m betting it will wind up being more than 3 billion, and next year we think that it will double, at least. This time next year we’re going to be talking about a 6 billion dollar industry, and many of the same players we love today will be even bigger and better 12 months from now, and some others won’t fare so well, we expect that long-awaited ‘shakeout’ to begin by mid-year.

When Spinfuel eMagazine launched in February of 2012 we didn’t know what to expect. Now, with an average of 75,000 people (unique IP’s too!) visiting us every month, and more than 700,000 pageviews, (and rising every month) we have a feeling that in 12 months time our numbers will be 4 times what it is now. The Vaping Industry is now ‘mainstreaming’, and Spinfuel will be there to share it with you.

Vaping Against The Tide?

We have the naysayers, we always will, but that is not going to stop this grand new hobby, this sure-fire way to kill off analogs; things are going to be amazing in spite of the zealots! Just you wait. And whether you vape as a relaxing hobby as we both do, or a means to an end, we are all Vapers, and we have the right to do this. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

So, what are your forecasts for 2014? Where will you be in your vaping quest, where will the industry be, and what do you think we need to do to make sure our right to vape in 2014 and beyond remains our business and no one else’s?

As we head into the holiday season, with a whole new bunch of reviews coming your way, we may not have another opportunity to come here and have some fun writing about this amazing year, so if we not able to say it again, have a great holiday season and a terrific new year!

Julia & Keira Hartley-Barnes
November 20, 2013
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