He is well known (and universally respected) for his craftsmanship, his talent and for being an awesome, down-to-earth guy -that's how I know he'll be blushing reading these lines! More specifically, SEB is the one to go to if you need a tiny, powerful, well-crafted and pretty variable voltage box mod. Some of his mods can be found in selected vape stores but, mostly, he works on custom-orders.
Thanks for inviting me! Well, I started vaping at the beginning of 2009 purely for health reasons. When I was younger the effects from smoking weren't noticeable and I didn't mind smoking. When our daughter came into our lives I realized I wasn't fit enough to play with her and I made the decision to quit and find something else.
I had already tried quitting smoking via electro-acupuncture in 2008. At the beginning I didn't notice any side effects but soon my family saw it somehow affected me as a person -both physically and psychologically. This didn't last long. At New Year's Eve 2009 we found my daughter, who was 3 years old at the time, unconscious from what proved to be an epileptic seizure. This was a blow that pushed me back to smoking. By the end of February I had bounced back and I started examining ecigs.
What device got you started and which one is your current favorite?
I started with a no name starter kit which was quite expensive at the time. A set of five replacement cartridges cost about 25 euros -it still hurts to remember! Then I met a friend holding a black ecig. I asked him about it and he said it was a Black Line*. I bought it and kept on vaping. Now, five years later, my favorite devices are my own plastic box mod with a DNA30D chip, and a similar box featuring a step-down circuit and digital controls, powered by two 16340 batteries.
What made you start modding?
The frequent breakdowns of standard ecigs and the limited efficiency of their batteries. If the present-day devices were available back in 2009 I don't think I would have started attempting modifications. I just didn't know how the whole business was going to evolve so I did my own bit to improve on things.
When I first started modding everything had to do with tubes of various metals (copper, steel etc.). I soon found out how unwieldy they can be when you're trying to fit one in the pocket of your summer shorts without having half your butt showing because of their weight! I started looking for a lighter, more handy solution. I tried my hand at plastic box mods after seeing the first one on ECF. When I completed my first box I really saw the advantage of having something that's so easy to use. Since then I am a dedicated box mods fan.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced in your creations?
Every new mod, every new idea I come up with, is a challenge. If I had to choose, I would say modifying a ProVari to feature a DNA and the fitting of various circuits in as small a box as possible.
What are the mods you wish you had created yourself?
Without a doubt, the Billet Box. I'd love to get my hands on one and try to improve it somehow!
Where do you see yourself as a modder in 2014?
I never had any fixed course in mind. I do what I do because I enjoy it, and this takes my mind off my everyday cares. The reason things turned out this way (with me being requested to make more and more mods for fellow-vapers) is because I know how it feels to want something and not being able to make it happen.
You are very active in forums and you never hesitate to share ideas and techniques. What's the advice you would offer to someone who has just started modding?
Patience, careful calculations and no hasty moves. One wrong move may jeopardize the whole process, plus it leads to disappointment and frustration which may cause even more problems while working on something.
The only way I would accept the word "client" is in quotation marks! There is no ideal "client". The way I see it there are only desires. Some of them I can satisfy, others I can't. I wish I had the necessary tools to satisfy everyone's desire but unfortunately this is very difficult -especially given the hard times Greece is going through right now.
If you were shipwrecked on the stereotypical desert island (along with a case of your favorite e liquid and loads of batteries!) what 3 vaping tools would you want with you?
Two DNA box mods and one with my own circuit... Or maybe vice-versa!
E cigs are rapidly evolving and they've been through some pretty big changes during the last few years. In your opinion, what's the next big change (either technical or aesthetic) we'll witness in the next 2-3 years?
Though it is true that we've seen great improvements, I've stopped daydreaming and I don't believe that we are going to have any "perfect and carefree" ecigs. I've followed every device's evolution since '09 and, each time, the first wave of enthusiasm is followed by complaints and new demands. I can't get over this deja vu feeling! [laughs]
The worldwide vaping community finds it hard to adapt to an emerging new era of restrictions, legislation and regulations. What stance should we choose? Are you optimistic that we'll manage to function within a sensible regulatory framework or are you afraid that we are facing a long, stressful fight amid negativity?
I believe that any development hostile to vaping will mainly affect future ecig users. The more experienced ones will find ways to make do, but new and future vapers will have a pretty hard time. In order for us to achieve a united stance as a community we'll have to cast aside our petty quarrels about silly things, such as "who's mod is the best" or "which battery is really stronger" etc.
Thank you SEB, it's been a real pleasure having you here!
It's been fun! I hope we'll have the chance to do this again.
I should add that my own Box Mod Surprise design was inspired by one of his box mods, and that gives me one more reason to thank him!
*: "Black Line" was the name of a decent, refillable cigalike that was quite a hit with the first generation of Greek vapers.