“It brought titanium back,” says one of Dougie’s buddies at the Hitman Hinge release party last weekend.
Hitman glass routinely rethinks what a rig can be – can it be cooler? prettier? easier to use? But, up until now, they haven’t concerned themselves much with titanium nails. Now they’ve teamed up with Task Rok and Highly Educated to give us the titanium Hinge, a carb cap that flips on and off a nail like the lid of a Zippo lighter.
I asked Dougie why he wanted to get into titanium now, and why he felt like the Hinge was the next big turning point in rig innovation. “It’s simple,” he says off the apparatus. “But it completely changes the procedure of vaporizing.”
So, is it really that big of a deal? Flipping a cap instead of picking it up? Yes, and no. It is simple, like he said. And it doesn’t take much less time than lifting your carb cap from the table top to the nail. But it does streamline the process.
It used to be when you fired a gun you had to load up a musket ball and gunpowder, then light a fuse. After generations of futzing around with design, they figured a way to combine all those steps with two simple levers – you pull one back to position a bullet in line with the barrel, pull another one to fire it.
So maybe what Hitman’s after here is a similar ergonomic efficiency. “The movement feels natural,” Dougie says of the flip motion involved in using the Hinge. Dab off a Torch Tube with a Hinge and the only other equipment you need is a dabber and some wax. You could call it the revolver of rigs. God help us when the semi-automatic hits the shelves.
“People thinking outside the box with aesthetics,” Dougie says of his peers and competitors, many of them (like Hoobs, Jason Lee, and Fatboy to name a few) are on display in the impressive showroom at GooseFire Glass Center where we’re talking and where the Hinge release shindig is going down. Hitman’s head honcho is excited while he talks about other designers. “So much competition, so raw right now.” They’re working together to advance the form, but each of them also want sto stand out.
“I put the rocket out [he’s talking about the Hitman Spaceship that’s officially being released on 4/20, but is on display at the Hinge party] and I wanted to pee on it, like in a dog sense.” To mark his territory, to say “this is mine.”
There will probably be hinges by a handful of knock-off manufacturers in the not-too-distant future, if there aren’t already. It’s a thin line between building on the innovation of an artist and ripping them off. “The moment you see it, the damage is done,” he says of discovering designs of his that have been stolen and appropriated by other glass companies in the past. But I think he’s also a little proud of his designs being imitated. “I get fulfilment from influence on any level,” he adds.
All big talk about the state of rig design aside, history is the only good judge of which ideas are momentary novelties and which are crucial landmarks in evolution. And the Hinge does give you a nice low temp dab.
Shout out to a lot of other fine people we talked to at the party including Sir Hoobs, who was nice enough to give us a tour of GooseFire’s incredible facility, Dustin from GooseFire, Buddy Crocker for an absurdly delicious and potent magic bar, whoever was bartending for the free Sierra Nevada, Nature’s Lab for bringing the bacon, and West Coast Cure for some mighty good shatter just when we needed it.