How The Silver Surfer Desktop Vaporizer Infeltruded The Music Industry

see the surfers

Back in 2004 the Silver Surfer Vape was born. Yep, we said vap, it was before the word vape existed. Either way the machine to stand the test of time was born in the basement and garage of Steve Kelnhofer.

As the most advanced and customizable desktop vaporizer on earth, the SSV began to make waves.  The SSV extracts the essence of the plant using hot air, it is NOT an atomizer or vape.  

Music was always in his life growing up. His father was always bringing home a new shirt from a concert he had just gone to, to add to the concert shirt collection.

Once Steve grew up and started to appreciate music more he found himself also going to the live events as the music was in his blood. He even tried to learn himself a guitar and drums, just that was not his forte.


Working hard on the Silver Surfer, it found its way to Leonard with Cephalic Carnage.

Steve got a call from him saying “I got this vape man, I have had some writer's block or song blockage, but I got this Silver Surfer thing and I have a song for you, are you ready” and he began to sing the lyrics to Vaporized, later to be released on the album Xenosapien.


This turned into an amazing friendship Steve has been grateful to have in his life ever since. With that Leonard went on to make the event vaporfest!

This was just the beginning of what Elev8 would become. Leonard connected Steve with Kiss (a person, not the band). Kiss was also a fan of the SSV and he then with his connections started to introduce the Silver Surfer to bands all over. This became a thing, so Matt E. was hired to help with the connections. Life was really good.


Throughout the SSV journey, a customer/fan Robert M. was to call him up and tell him a story about meeting Willie Nelson. Let Steve tell the story here, it’s pretty cool.

“So Robert calls me up, we have this refer 6 people and get a free SSV. Robert is at 4 he says and wants to buy 2 more and get his free one. The two he wants to buy are going to Willie Nelson and Woody Haralson. Ok, I say how did this happen? Driving up the mountain on Maui he sees this washed-out guy struggling to get up the road. He pulls over to give him a ride and low and behold it is Woody Haralson. As they go up the mountain they end up talking about cannabis and the SSV comes up. They stop at Robert's house for a vape session and Woody says hay, grab that machine and let's go for a ride. The ride takes them to a house and inside this house is Willie Nelson, haha wow! Robert sets up the SSV and Willie is happy with it as was Woody.”

The story sounds pretty cool and Steve says hay, why not make them extra cool.

We had just found out what powder coating was and when we found out Woody liked Green and Willie liked black and gold, it made it easy to get the powder coat colors now available on the SSV as it was perfect timing.

Steve made some cool glass to match and out the door the kits went along with Roberts free one. Time slipped on by like Steve Millers’ song. Then he gets a call from Robert saying how great they loved the units. WOW, was it real????


Then about 3-6 months later Rusty calls up to place an order for a 6 pack of SSV’s, never asking for anything free, just hook it up brother with 6 of your best. Then reality hit when it was paid for on a CC using the name Willie Nelson.

This was the first of a total of 36 that Rusty would pick up for Willie. Willie maybe unknowingly the #1 retail customer of the SSV. Soon Steve was on track to meet Willie at a Red Rocks show. Steve got to go to the show, back stage and all, but the meet was canceled as he got pushed aside by some big time Democrats from the DNC convection at the time. Oh well, it was nuts!!!!


In the late 2000’s we made a connection with Cypress Hill! They fell in love with the SSV and we got to make an SSV just for them with their art!


On top of that we got invited to the Smokeout Festival in 2010 and broke history with them.

NO smoking was allowed, we were the answer! Our crew made it out there and crushed it! We have about 15 vapes set up, and the lines to use them never ended!

Yes, people got their joints in, pipes in, but remember it was new, it was still scary. So, many many people were enjoying for the first time riding the wave with the Silver Surfer Vaporizer. We came back in 2011 and things had already changed a lot with the laws. We crushed it again!


Later he got a call from Dereck Trucks and was confirmed that Willie had a SSV, and Derek wanted one too. Much of the Trucks family placed an order and WOW, a legendary experience cherished to this day by Steve.

On the tour bus Steve learned about how Willie was using a broken wand, so that led to an improvement on the SSV that all tubing goes inside the glass rather than over, so obvious but hard to see.


Another great story is working with Blues Traveler.

Growing up Steve was given a harmonica by his grandfather (never learned it will). But he loved Jon Popper on the instrument and when an order came in, WOW.

So it went further and then we got to talk and meet them in person, yes at Red Rocks! Yes, and we even made it into the sacred green room of Red Rocks.

THANK you Blues Traveler! Many many years later we got a call, hey I need this thing fixed, its is the daily driver and the house got struck by lightning. Not cool, but it feels good to know it is still being used!


It is nuts what was to happen over the course of time that the SSV was to become a part of over 300+ bands of all genres. To this day, metal has been the strongest supporter of the SSV, but again embraced by all musicians.

Steve has been able to tour the tunnels of Red Rocks, meet members of some of the biggest bands all from how they fell in love with the idea of the SSV. A healthier way to consume a plant they loved.

Built by a team of people that put their all into the products they make, as well as help define the industry since 2004.

The Elev8 team has adopted its code of ethics from being real and wanting the best for themselves and America.


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