Gear Review: The Silver Surfer
This vaporizer arrived just as I was replying to a reader who wrote in about my long-gestating novel, The Tiger’s Revenge. She’s a writing instructor who suggested I start again with a female narrator — just as an exercise. I was just making a rather elementary point about why that was impossible when the Silver Surfer landed with a thump on my desk.
The carrying case looks like something that would dangle from the shoulder of a guy in one of those Horrid Fashions of the Seventies slideshows. It’s padded and made from bad suit-jacket material and looks like it could hold a severed head. Instead, it holds a well-designed desktop vaporizer.
The Silver Surfer’s heavy durability is a big plus. Its angled cylinder squats on a rubberized base and does not wander among the clutter of your work desk. Inside the cylinder is the ceramic heating element; a glass cover fits on top of it. The “whip” is familiar to anyone who’s used a home vape: a length of clear plastic tubing with a glass end that holds the good stuff and fits over the heater cover. The other end is a glass mouthpiece.
Superior design is about more than feel. I called my old, departed desktop vape Old Yeller. Its wand fit over a metal cap on the heating element, which means the heat flows over cheap metal, but the Silver Surfer is all clean ceramics. Old Yeller used to burn the dry weed a bit, but the Surfer’s better angle keeps the good stuff right in the hot air stream.
The temperature control is a chunky glass knob embedded with marble swirls; its on/off action has a satisfying click. The manual suggests starting at low temperature and moving up. I’d suggest the opposite. Even at full blast, my cannabis was not smoking. If you favor a strong draw, it needs to be hotter. A more leisurely draw will vape at a lower temp. Extracting used plant material out of the wand is easy with the pick, which is as long and wicked as the needle they sewed me up with after the tiger found me.
At $270, the Silver Surfer is priced low as manufacturer 7th Floor plans to introduce a new line. This product has several years of road testing. The only flaw is that the wordy manual is puts style above readability with a maddening font on a dark background. Maybe this middle-aged novelist needs reading glasses, but isn’t it best to make life easy for stoners of all stripes?
7th Floor offers more accessories than a bleary-eyed Barbie ever dreamed of: grinders, customized glass parts like wand tips, heater covers, and knobs, even add-ons like vapor coolers. You can also order a main unit branded with your favorite obscure stoner band’s custom image.
As long as you’re careful with the glass parts, the Silver Surfer should provide years of fruitful vaporization — easily enough time to finish a novel.
Cool Factor: Moderate, but with unlimited potential if you want to spend on customization.
Practicality: It vaporizes very well. The glass ends of the whip can break easily, but they’re replaceable.
Affordability: $270 is reasonable for such a solid design, a price preferable to more expensive forced-air products like the Volcano with their creepy vape-bag balloons.
Overall: Solid, proven design, and easy to use. No thanks to the manual, which needs a complete rewrite. (Editor’s note: Mr. Balzac is available.)
Available at VapeWorld’s website.
Photo by Gabrielle Lurie