Words and photos by Bryan Gateb and Jan Halili of CaliVapers
With an active instagram following of more than 46,000 and an active online forum with more than 17,600 members, CaliVapers has become a strong and recognizable brand within the vape community. Being located at the epicenter of the vaping industry, CaliVapers has always had its finger on the pulse of vaping. As the vape community continues to grow, more and more modders are entering the fray and finding a source for reliable information on high-end and affordable mods is becoming more difficult. We’re here to cover the MODS. From the rarest and hottest – to the most reliable and affordable, CaliVapers has your back.
Visit us at calivapers.com and keep up with us on instagram at @calivapers @bgateb and @janhalili.
An interview with Pawel Mikos, creator of gepetto box mods
Beautifully designed and well-crafted with the highest end raw materials, the Gepetto Elite is the pinnacle of high-end mods. Perfect fit, finish and the best ergonomics we’ve experienced make the Gepetto Elite the most sought-after mod in the current high-end collector climate. We had a chance to sit down with Polish modder Pawel Mikos, creator of the gepetto box mod to get some insight on his journey into modding.
Give us a little background on your modding journey.
I’ve been vaping since 2009 with a break around 2010 – I was dissatisfied with the state of the gear at that point, all those cigalikes didn’t do it for me, and I got back to vaping around the time Ego-type batteries hit the market. Switched to a GLV v2 around 2011 and it went downhill from there—quickly accumulating a collection of different mods.
Around April or May 2011 I got into modding—was forced into it in a way and I made some mods for myself and for my buddies. These were 5v “regulated” box mods that were supposed to be used with three Ohm cartos and carto tanks … those were good times.
After that I moved slowly into the VV mods, started carving more intricate designs and was never fully satisfied with what I made – that made me push harder and come up with new designs.
What is your vision behind gepetto mods?
I want to stay small. Develop my designs, work on ergonomics and push it even further. I would like for people to be able to just look at my mods and say “yes, that’s a Gepetto—I’m sure of that.” To do that I need more original designs—I’ve got plenty of passion when it comes to what I do, just that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. It’s not just a job for me—vaping became my passion and I want to make mods for people who are as passionate about the hobby as I am.
Your custom handmade and hand-painted Gepetto SLAPS are gorgeous! Is it safe to assume that you have a background in woodcarving or sculpture?
No – I had to learn everything from scratch. Never worked with wood before I got into modding—I’m still learning and pushing my limits. There’s plenty I can still learn. From simple boxes, through “Art” series and S.L.A.P.S. to current Elites, Flo and #NoBox I’ve been honing my craft.
Drip, clearo tank or genny?
A good dripper, a nice genny and that’s all I need. I hate all the Kayfun-type tanks. They never appealed to me to be honest. Just need some mesh and a nice, flavorful dripper and I’m set.
What is your daily setup?
An Elite V2 with an In’Ax atty.
What is your all-day vape (e-liquid)?
I alternate Cashmere Houndstooth and Five Pawns “Grandmaster.”
Who are some of your favorite modders?
I don’t want to drop any names here, but I love every modder who pushes the boundaries, tries to experiment with form and materials. We need more innovation in this industry – hoping that we can all learn from one another and make even better products for the customer. When it comes to modders I don’t have much respect for, well … that’s a different story.
Will you be attending any major trade shows or conventions this year?
I may do Vape Expo in Paris, but I’m still not sure. My first trade show was Vape Summit 2015. That’s a lot of firsts this year – first plane journey, first trip to the states … hoping to attend more, but It’s not that easy with the family and all that.
What is your favorite color?
Depends. As far as clothes go – I’m leaning towards blacks and greys. Mods – natural wood is where it’s at for me. For other things – walls at home for example, warm colors.
What does the future hold for Pawel and Gepetto mods?
Time will tell. At the moment I’m focusing on perfecting my designs and constantly looking for inspiration. I don’t want to grow too big – I would love to stay off the radar a bit, to make mods for collectors and real enthusiasts. It’s all about the community for me building a better, smoke free future and having fun while I’m doing it.
Thanks for your time, Pawel. We look forward to seeing the next unicorn come out of your workshop!
Words and photos by Bryan Gatab, Calivapers
Stabilized wood, or “Stabwood” is a process of impregnating the pores and grain structure of wood under pressure with a stabilizing agent, usually resin or acrylic, greatly increasing its durability and resistance to atmospheric change. Dyes often are added during the process, resulting in beautiful finishes. Regularly used in knife handles and pens, stabwood has made its way into vaping in the form of attractive handcrafted mods. We cover a few of our favorites below.
Country of Origin: Poland
Modder: Jarosław Kwapisinski
Chip: Evolv DNA40 (gold)
Stabilized Wood Body
Brushed Stainless Steel Faceplate
User-Replaceable 18650 Battery
40 Watts via Evolv DNA40 Gold
RRP: $480 USD
Country of Origin: Philippines
Modders: Melvin Menon and Jorge Ang
Chip: Evolv DNA40 (gold)
Stainless Steel C-Frame Construction
Stabilized Wood Insert
Spring-Loaded 510 Connection
User-Replaceable 26650 Battery
40 Watts via Evolv DNA40 Gold
RRP: $600 USD
Country of Origin: Philippines
Chip: YiHi SX350
Stainless Steel Box Construction (SUS304)
Interchangeable Wooden Panels Spring-Loaded 510 Connection
AWT 4500 mAh 75a Fixed 2660 Battery Tilt/Gravity Sensing Interface
60 Watts via YiHi SX350
RRP: $450-500 USD
The O.C. Vaper’s Meet, March 2015
Photos by Bryan Gateb, CaliVapers
Currently a bi-monthly event, the OC Vaper’s meet is the largest regularly-occuring Vaper’s meet in California. Our meet attracts hundreds of vapers from Orange County and surrounding areas, along with new modders, distributors and juice manufacturers. Attendees often walk away with hundreds of ml’s of free juice, accessories or even mods!
Every two months, CaliVapers and VapeDaily host the O.C. Vaper’s Meet, where vapers from all over Southern California gather to talk mods, try juice, and just have a good time. CloudKicker Society hosts a CloudKicker Circuit cloud competition at every meet, allowing the cloud chasers to show off their build prowess. Modders, distributors, juice companies and accessory manufacturers will join us and make large donations resulting in none of our attendees going home empty-handed.
If you’re in Sounthern California, Join us for the next OC Vaper’s Meet! Follow us on instagram at @calivapers or on facebook at facebook.com/calivapers and keep an eye out for details.
The OC Vaper’s Meet is held bi-monthly at TEN Asian Bistro, 4647 MacArthur Blvd. Newport Beach, CA 92660.
By Jan Halili, CaliVapers
First popularized by Reos Mods five years ago, “squonkers” are box mods housing a battery compartment alongside a plastic e-liquid bottle with a tube leading up to the bottom of the 510 (or 306) connector into your bottom-feeding atomizer. The side door of the mod has a hole that allows the user to squeeze (or “squonk”) the bottle, which pushes the e-liquid in through the bottom of the atomizer onto their wick. It’s an extremely convenient set-up considering mods like the SunBox E7 (pictured below) can hold 10 ml of juice in its bottle. An ideal daily driver!
By Stefan Didak, notblowingsmoke.org
On April 8, more than 150 vapers and the industry stakeholders from California got together in massive opposition to Senator Leno’s bill, SB140, which, amongst other things, seeks to classify vapor products as tobacco and vaping equal to smoking. Which would tie in to a licensing scheme to force all vape shops to subject themselves to becoming “smoking lounges.”
As co-president of the Northern California Chapter of SFATA, I’ve been deeply involved in organizing the opposition and continue to work with our lobbying team on this and several other bills in the state while SB140 continues on to the next committee. The battle has only just begun and we need everyone involved as this year will be a hugely defining year for vaping.
I appreciate everyone who made it out to Sacramento for the hearing and sticking around for many hours before SB140 came up. The entire room rising up from their seats, when the committee chairman asked who wanted to voice their opposition, was a powerful sight that I know many of us will never forget. I sincerely hope our efforts can serve as an example for other states.
Many of you are probably have seen the notblowingsmoke.org website that counters the disinformation that the California Department of Public Health has put out. I created it in 38 hours with some help from Jason Downing and a forceful social media effort by Camille Winans and fewer than 100 other vapers. I’m still overwhelmed by its impact and the response that has yet to quiet down.
Expect more of #notblowingsmoke in the near future as we are working on establishing a proper structure around it that will help support the goal of taking the effort nation-wide and perhaps even internationally. Stay tuned!