The world’s most famous electronic dab rig is back for round two, and we sat down with Puffco founder Roger Volodarsky to get the full tale of the new Peak Pro.
Make no mistake about it, Puffco changed the game. There had been many an electronic dab apparatus to that point, but they didn’t feel remotely close to this well done. And some just generally sucked. But then came Puffco! And many people never picked up their blowtorch again.
When we got word Puffco was ready to drop its next generation, we were absolutely hyped. Everything we wanted to see was there. The new sturdy atomizer, the temperature control and my Ryan Fitt Recycler would still fit.
With all this joy in the air, I asked Volodarsky about the lessons they learned on the first Peak that carried over to its successor. A successor that will have 10 times the launch inventory available as the original.
“The lessons that the Peak taught us were really, the power that our company has more than anything products-related,” Volodarsky told L.A. Weekly. “That’s an evolving thing. Every single day we understand more about our products. Every single day we make changes to improve them over time.”
After the original Peak dropped, there was certainly room for improvement, like any first generation product. We asked Volodarsky when he knew it was time to launch the new edition and what the development cycle looked like this time around. Volodarsky informed us the Peak Pro has been in production since late 2018, the same year the original took off.
After dealing with the perils of becoming wildly popular over the course of a few months, Puffco was able to start the earliest concept work on what their sophomore offering of the Peak would look like. Volodarsky said when they were developing the original Peak, they were using the last of the money the company had.
“It was kind of everything on the line for this one dream of a product and the real question that we were looking to have answered was, if we can make dabbing less stigmatized and easier to get that perfect experience. Is this something that people would love? If that answer is yes, then great, we can really go in and go all out on a device,” Volodarsky said.
They certainly got their answer. And in the time since the resources afforded by the success of the original Peak have allowed its next generation to really hit a new level.
The first place Puffco starts on anything is the atomizer. That’s the element that actually heats the dab up to vaporize it. Volodarsky called it the engine of the device and what mattered to him the most. That atomizer will make or break the device when it comes to quality, flavor and experience. So it makes sense to start there and build the rest of the device around the atomizer being top of the line. A big goal was consistency, knowing that if you put the same dabs in any Peak at the same setting they would taste the same.
“First thing that we wanted is intelligent temperature control,” Volodarsky said. “We wanted a closed system that is able to understand what the temperature is inside of the bowl and compensate based on how hard you’re inhaling based on how much oil is in the bowl.”
The next step was going a little bit bigger on the bowl. The Peak Pro’s atomizer has 40 percent more room for concentrates than the original. But not necessarily just for fat dabs. Volodarsky argues the extra surface area makes smaller dabs more enjoyable too.
One of the best upgrades in addition to the sturdier atomizer has to be the new carb cap. No more dropping or dangly silicone things, the Peak Pro’s will snap into place. And for bonus points it has a window, so you’ll get to watch your dabs bubble up as you look down and use the device.
While Volodarsky didn’t have too much faith in his dab window at first, the product team came back and told him it was possible. “And so we made the Oculus carb cap which has a blast center that magnifies the inside of the atomizer,” Volodarsky said. “So while it is vaporizing inside you get this front row seat to watch in that magic.”
Volodarsky didn’t feel like that experience was there in the original. You knew something was going on but couldn’t watch it happen.
A big factor in the Peak is its accessibility. It made it a lot easier for people to enjoy concentrates without the social stigma of a blow torch. But not just that, all the steps you had to take a dab prior to the Peak were a little much for the regular folks.
“We don’t believe that’s what the average consumer experience should be,” Volodarsky said. “The average consumer experience should be thoughtless and you should just be able to use something, it should be perfect every single time.”
One of the major factors for the Peak Pro was size. Something that made the original Peak a hit was its compact form factor, to the point you could fit it in a cup holder. Think camping chairs not driving. This time around Puffco was able to double the water capacity while making the glass just a pinch taller.
One of the biggest convenience factors of the Peak Pro is the new charging base. You just throw the base on your table and it’s always ready to go. Even more exciting is the fact that you can set your Peak to automatically start heating up to your favorite temperature as soon as you pull it off the base.
Volodarsky again emphasized what the success of the original Peak meant to make this generation as wild as possible. He spoke of the 13 people there for the original launch, only three or four of them product people. “Now, with releasing this new Peak we have 90 employees, and I believe 12 or 13 of them on the product team,” he said. “So the resources that we have to execute our dreams have just been leveled up so much and that’s why now everyone has Bluetooth so we found a way to give everybody access to an app.”
The companion app to the Peak Pro is the heart of the customization interface. Apple users will be able to sync up through a Bluetooth compatible web app, so don’t stress out about the app store preventing precision dabs. Volodarsky has been using the Peak Pro for about six months and said he has about eight prototypes at his house. He has consistently been running his Peak Pro between 540 and 550 degrees. “That’s my sweet spot,” Volodarsky said. “I had put my settings to being about a minute. The way that we had actually done my settings is I make them shorter the hotter it is.”
You can preorder the Puffco Peak Pro now. They ship in a couple of weeks. Be sure to pull the trigger early if you’re debating one for the holidays.