Hands on with the Puffco Proxy

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The industry’s leading device manufacturer has evolved the playing field again.

You don’t have to be a massive stoner to be familiar with Puffco. The device producer has introduced countless innovations to the concentrate segment since its inception in 2013. From improving pen technology to pioneering e-rigs, even the least engaged concentrate consumer has likely tried at least one of their products already. Not happy with settling for the status quo, Puffco is back again with another innovation to propel the hash game—and this time it’s not even water filtered.

Led by Roger Volodarsky, known to his adoring fans as “Jolly Roger,” the company’s latest product is the result of two years of serious research and development. The result is a Sherlock-style dry pipe with a modular 3D chamber vaporizer, dubbed the Puffco Proxy. While that may not be the most eloquent description, it’s hard to overstate just how big this device is going to be. Launching today for $299, I feel pretty confident in saying this little electronic bowl is going to be a hash-head’s new best friend.

Introducing the Puffco Proxy

Last week I got to sit down with Roger to discuss his latest innovation, and the reason behind the rhyme. I’ll admit, when I first heard they were producing a dry pipe, I was a bit skeptical, but I was reassured of its function before it even reached my hands. In his own words:

“This is the most fleshed out Puffco product we have ever released.”

Roger told me, “By far the most tested and validated, and ran through quality control. We tested up and down with tons of internal beta testers in the company just abusing the hell out of it and seeing what it’s great at, and what it’s not great at. And we really feel like we got it to a place where it’s hard to imagine it getting any better.”

“It is the first truly modular vaporizer, where the internals completely come out and can be put into any glass form whatsoever. We’re working on our own designs that you can plug it into.”

He continued, “It was really designed to be something that is really, really easy to build around, and will integrate super well with the maker community in this space.”

In development since February of 2020, the 3D chamber the brand introduced last year was actually developed for the Proxy, but due to shortages in the microchip supply chain, the product is finally releasing in its final form now.

“It really started as like—the original design intention was ‘let’s make something that fits into a banger and just quickly adapts to everything.’ And then our Chief Technology Officer Avi was like, ‘what if the banger neck actually went to your mouth?’”

For the culture, by the culture

“Our belief is that hash is the best experience in the space. And we believe that that is what is going to grow. There is something here that is extremely flavorful, easy to dial in, and a beautiful experience for people that don’t typically like smoking. And we believe that that is what the future is, and we’re all on this path to get there together. So if there’s anything I want you to relay, it’s just that we believe that hash is the future and we’re here to build the road there with our community,” Roger explained.

“I believe, and you might not share this perspective and that’s okay, but I believe that hash culture as it is today, this American hash culture of dabs, is the most innovative and fastest growing scene in all of cannabis. There’s new types of hash every year. Like this year I saw cold cure water hash for the first time in Spain, it blew my mind, and every year there’s that mind-blowing experience. Every year there’s new consumption devices, from swing arms to honey buckets, I mean it just never ends. And I believe that is what hash culture has done for our space; it has become the home of obsession.”

I’ve long credited Puffco with lowering the barrier to entry to the concentrate space, and this latest innovation feels like a continuation of that spirit. In Roger’s head, this takes that to the next level.

“I think when it comes to the Peak, the Peak is still something that—to a complete outsider of hash—is intimidating. You’re looking at this big device, you have to load it. It’s a bong and it’s electronic. So it’s just, I think for some, unfamiliar enough that even though it’s so easy, [with the Proxy they’ll say] ‘oh my God, this is 20 times easier than what I was doing before. And I can put my friends on with this.’ I think this is such a well known form (the Sherlock) that it becomes this Trojan horse for hash culture, where if you’re into pipes, if you’ve smoked out of a bowl, you have all the context you need—just load your pipe and smoke it. Everybody is kind of familiar with that.”

But how does it hit?

As stated earlier, even though they’ve dialed it in, and it’s in their opinion the best-in-class experience, I still had some doubts. Dabs are known to roast your throat, and the idea of removing the water filtration entirely definitely struck me as strange, as I didn’t think you’d want to risk allowing the smoke to hit your throat at a higher temp, but I’ve got to say: I’ve had this device for just about a week now and I’m already a believer. 

While you’re still smoking at the same temperature you would in the Proxy’s larger older brother, there’s something about the size, and the fact that it’s a bowl, that just makes it very intuitive for hitting. You’ll know from your first hit to sip this smoke, as opposed to rip like you would a bong, and I’m actually coughing less hitting this than I did with the Peak. The ergonomics are also much more comfortable, as your hand is already used to how it feels, and you’ll feel a bit more classy than you did before, for sure.

Though the smoke doesn’t overwhelm, which alone is a big selling point, the absolute best part about the Proxy is the flavor you’ll get out of your concentrates. Better than the Peak, in Roger’s own words, this thing SPITS terps. You’ll taste new flavors out of material you’ve smoked countless times, guaranteed. 

For the finer details, the device comes with a one-year warranty, and the team says from a 100% charge the Proxy will last at least 4 months in standby, but I’m fairly confident you won’t ever leave it alone that long. As a guy who primarily smokes joints, I’ve been high on a looooot more hash these past few days…

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