After my last post saying I’m planning on using the website more, with some more written reviews, obviously a million things have got in the way and not allowed it to happen as quickly as I would have liked. That being said, Mrs Biker is working on her first post, and I have notes for mine so soon, very soon – no excuses!
For today though, I wanted to share my thoughts on tanks.
Have we come to depend on innovation?
As some of you may know, I’ve been trying really hard to not review tanks of late and here’s why…
As an industry and regardless of country, we have been flooded with sub-ohm tanks and RTAs this year, and it kind of reminds me of how things were late 2014/early 2015. We’d had the Aspire Atlantis (arguably groundbreaking for what it did at the time) and then the Kanger sub-tank, and it seemed manufacturers went bonkers designing as many tanks of that ilk as possible – some of which had coils that you couldn’t buy for love nor money after purchasing the tank, occasionally a manufacturer would come out with something that could use multiple coils which worked well. Vape retailers were constantly challenged to figure out which tanks were going to be the next big thing, and therefore which coils to hold on the shelves, and during that time it seemed a like a new one came out near weekly.
Personally I feel that the latter half of 2015 brought us more RDA’s, and mods were being challenged again – both on price point and functionality with the progression of temp limiting. Even early days of 2016 seemed to continue with evolving RDAs – although a seemingly vast majority even now still use a ‘Velocity Style Deck’ which clearly worked fantastically for the Velocity V1 & V2.
The last few months though, we appear to have gone back into being tank/RTA crazy, and unfortunately very little innovation.
There have certainly been a couple along the road that I’ve enjoyed – notably products like Wotofo’s Conqueror, Augvape’s Boreas, and one or two others, but personally for me it’s been about ease of use and smoothness of air flow. The Boreas may still have a little wetting itself moment after filling up, but still a massive capacity for a brilliantly smooth delivery of air and vapour to your mouth-hole in my opinion.
We’re now seeing the same tanks being produced in different clothes, you’ve got the 22mm? oh well you now need to buy the 24mm, or buy this new one because we now have top air flow rather than regular air flow.
How many more tanks do we need that have ‘Velocity style posts’ and a little wick catch ring (that annoys me), and the promise of maximum cloudage.
That’s the reason I’m ‘off’ tanks at the moment, and turning them down weekly to review. I’m sure you could base an entire channel purely on tanks – and I’d urge someone to do it, I really do think it would be useful and pretty popular to the viewers, it’s just not something that excites me enough to be on my working calendar.
Sadly imposing regulations in some countries means that manufacturers around the world are throwing their energy into getting as many products out there as they possibly can, and unfortunately it means that some of these items may not be innovative, different, or even made as well as they could be.
Any industry focuses on the bottom line at some point, but I really do think it’s harder currently finding the diamond in the rough, that one product that really does stand out.
So far in 2016 we’ve had some pretty great RDAs and mods, and I for one would like to see more of that going on. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been searching around looking for something new and different to review, and have found very little that’s A) Different B) interesting for you guys C) available to the masses, and that ladies and gents bums me out a bit.
Price points came down a lot, RDA designs seemed to just start getting interesting again, and now it’s all gone a bit into the shadows again. There’s clearly a lot available still, the industry hasn’t calmed itself down, but ‘new’ is the challenge.
At the start of this, my intention was to just question the mass production of RTAs, but I added the secondary title of ‘Have we come to depend on innovation’, and that is a thought process that’s evolved as I’ve written this piece.
Do we as vapers have an accelerated variation on the throwaway society that leaves us constantly hungry for the next shiney piece of kit regardless of quality? Who knows, I may go back to that another time, it certainly seems evident in the hobby we all enjoy.
One thing I’ve noticed though, there are a lot of people that will decide an RTA is rubbish without good reason frankly. Wicking is something that is uber important, and not everyone has the patience to work out the best way of doing things for them and their vaping style and juice choices. This I imagine, is where YouTube reviewers can come in handy, but even then, I still have plenty of people say I’ve wicked or built something wrongly – my only answer to that is… “well, no”. If it works for me then that’s what it’s all about, in the same way as you have to decide what works for you.
Occasionally some products really are just bad with very few redeemable features, but one thing we have now with the plethora of very similar RTAs, is the ability to really hone your building and wicking skills to make most of them a pretty reasonable vape.
Is there an answer to the constant barrage of tanks entering the arena now? nope, it’s going to happen, while people keep buying it’s a commercial market that makes sense to keep producing and churning out products. All I can say though is that I hope it doesn’t come at the expense of innovation, RDAs and mods.
We often forget how young vaping is, ‘old-school’ products are now 2 years old (LOL) and alongside products like the mobile phone and laptop/tablet, I’m unaware of any industry that’s had the same meteoric growth in such a short time scale.
Personally now I’d like to see one thing happen, and it seems so logical so is my challenge to manufacturers. Rather than flooding the market with millions of products that are all the same, now we’re out of nappies as an industry let’s focus on good, solid, well made, cost effective products that innovate, work properly, continue to be safe, and give us something to really get our knickers in a twist with excitement about.
Thanks for reading!