Silver Surfer Vaporizer (SSV) Review
Staff Review -- VapeNow.com
December 10, 2008
The Silver Surfer Vaporizer (SSV) has become one of the more popular vaporizers on the market in the last few years. And its popularity is not just due to its unique angled appearance and custom glass parts. It has gained a well justified reputation for good performance and reliability.
Pros and Cons
- Heavy duty construction. It’s quite likely to survive a table top fall to the floor with all parts intact.
- The two pound bottom-weight enables the vaporizer to stay in place on any flat surface during use.
- The whip angle guarantees no spillage during the heating process.
- Comes in either standard or hands free design.
- 220V version is available for international use.
- Air intake through the opening in the heater cover provides a clean vapor path.
- Small outlet opening at the end of the heater cover helps provide rich vapor draws.
- Every Silver Surfer has a unique look due to the custom glass control knob.
- A good selection of custom glass is available, as well as accessories and options for water filtering.
- No temperature indicator.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The Silver Surfer, at $250, is the most expensive of the analog, whip style vaporizers. Is it worth the price compared to standard box vapes selling for $100-130 less? For some, it’s probably not, on the basis of performance alone. But if features like the heavy duty build, unique appearance, heater angle, and custom glass are important to you, no other whip vaporizer on the market measures up to this one. And with some digital whip vapes selling for twice the price, the reliable Surfer could be considered a bargain.
The design is basically drawn from the traditional box vaporizer, using a whip/bowl that mates to the opening in the heater cover. The Surfer uses an aluminum housing 3/16” thick and weighs in at slightly over two pounds. It’s about 6.5” high, with a 7” x 5 “, powder coated metal base that sits on four acrylic feet. You’re not likely to push this vape around with the whip, or accidentally knock it over. The first few inches of the cylinder are sealed and contain the electronics, with the last 3” or so shielding the ceramic heater, which is enclosed by the glass heater cover, and that stands 2 ¾” above the sealed part of the base. The heater is adjustable from 200-900°F. The top of the cover takes a 90 degree turn and the final inch of the cover provides the unique downward angle. Connecting the 3 ft. whip to the cover at this angle removes any possibility of spilling your tobacco or herbs. The small outlet hole (5/16”) in the heater cover results in a fairly tight stream of heated air hitting the bowl. Some stirring of the bowl between draws is helpful to expose all the surface area. Slightly moving the bowl around to different angles during use also helps to spread the heat around. During use it’s fairly forgiving of how hard you draw, and of course the temperature knob can be adjusted to suit easy or hard draws.
Cleaning is mostly a matter of just dealing with the wand/whip, which is made with thick, laboratory grade borosilicate glass. A new style of wand has been introduced recently. The length has been shortened and the narrow ‘male’ end has been replaced with a wider ‘female’ termination. This allows the tubing to be inserted into the wand, and the wider opening on the wand makes for easier cleaning. The wands are also advertised as ‘quick change’, which refers to the easy placement of a new screen. The new wand design should also make screen removal easier. It really is pretty easy to insert a new screen and flip it around to lock in place in the groove that’s provided. The company even has a short video in the ‘how it works’ section, showing the screen insertion process. Reinserting a used screen is more difficult though, since the removal process tends to take the stiffness out of the screen. I suggest buying extra screens with the Surfer. A ten pack is available for $1.75, which is hard to beat. It is possible that some particles of plant material can be accidentally blown back into the heater cover. Although it’s not necessary, the heater cover can be removed and the particles can be blown out of the heater base.
Included with every Silver Surfer kit:
- Handmade glass marble pick/stir tool
- Hand made glass marble temperature knob
- Hemp storage bag
- 3 extra screens
- 1 standard whip (includes standard PYREX quick change wand, 3' of food grade vinyl tubing, clear glass mouthpiece)
- Instruction manual
- 3-year warranty
The Surfer is available in either 110 or 220V (Europe) versions. Ordering from the company’s website allows for a good deal of customization. A ground glass heater cover is available for an additional $20. If this option is chosen, the matching ground glass wand is automatically added to the kit. The housing choices are silver and black, with green, orange, or Rainbows End black available for $30 more. The base colors are silver, black, red, blue, green, yellow, or purple. Every Silver Surfer is unique due to the custom glass temperature knob and heater cover. You can specify color choices for the glass pieces during the order process. A color theme, such as blue, can be chosen, or multiple colors can be selected. Further glass customization is possible with a selection of knobs, heater covers, and wands. Other options are the Aroma Top, for converting the vaporizer into an aromatherapy diffuser while still allowing for vaporization, as well as custom water filters, ice chambers, and Essential oil nebulizers. A padded hemp storage bag with interior pockets is a nice carry/storage option, and is now included free of charge with every Surfer order. Warranty is three years.
-- The VapeNow Staff
Overall the Silver Surfer is an excellent vaporizer. It’s been on the market for some time and has a devoted user base. Considered one of the best direct–inhale vapes on the market, it’s a worthwhile investment for any vapor enthusiast. Thanks for reading.