Riptide Ripstick Review – Tobacco Free Nicotine Pod Vape

Last updated on July 18th, 2023


Update! The Riptide Ripstick is no longer available. We recommend the Smok Novo 4.

A Closed-System Pod Vape That is Free of Tobacco and Benzoic Acid – The Riptide Ripstick

I was excited when I received one of the newest pod vape systems, the Ripstick from Riptide. You might think I’d be tired of testing and reviewing yet another ultra-portable ecig. After all, the market is literally flooded with them, and there are several that are unremarkable.

The Ripstick; however, is different – not necessarily because of the sleek feel, or the fact that it’s easy to use. It's the only closed-system pod vape that contains tobacco-free nicotine and is free of benzoic acid.

Not even the JUUL can make that claim. 

What’s more, the Ripstick is economical.

What Does the Ripstick Cost?

The cost of the Ripstick TFN (tobacco free nicotine) Pod Starter Kit Bundle is $20.95 – less when it is on sale. You get 2 big pods that have 1.4mL of nic juice + 1 battery. 

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In comparison, the cost of a JUUL Starter Kit is $49.99. It comes with 4 small pods that have only 0.7mL of e-juice and all pods contain 5% tobacco free nicotine.

How is the Ripstick's Nicotine E-Juice Made?

When it comes to either smoking or vaping, nicotine has always been extracted from tobacco leaves. The Ripstick's nicotine is extracted from plants other than tobacco, such as tomatoes and eggplant.

In open system pod vapes, you can buy traditional nicotine, or nicotine salts nicotine.

The difference between regular freebase nicotine e-liquids and nic salt e-liquids is that regular nicotine contains ammonia to boost nicotine delivery. Nicotine salts e-liquids do not use ammonia. 

Instead, nic salts e-liquids traditionally use a higher level of nicotine, and the formula includes low pH benzoic acid to keep those levels from burning your throat.

What About Benzoic Acid?

benzoic acid symbol

Benzoic Acid Chemical Symbol

Benzoic acid is a white crystalline substance present in plant resins and commonly used as a food preservative.

It was first used in the JUUL high nicotine salt e-juice and is now used in most nic salt e-liquids. 

Nictech, the makers of the Riptide Ripstick do not use nic salts in the Riptide, yet they were able to formulate a high nicotine, tobacco-free, e-liquid without adding benzoic acid. Their formula delivers a high nicotine e-juice without any harshness.

There are currently 2 flavors available for the Riptide Ripstick, Tobacco and Menthol.

Despite the lack of tobacco or benzoic acid, both flavors gave me a vape that was flavorful and smooth. I will say that the Tropical flavor had a slightly stronger throat hit.

The Design of the Ripstick

Riptide Ripstick and USB charger inside box

The Ripstick Battery Comes with a USB Charger

The Ripstick’s battery and USB charging cable come in a separate box from the pods. Although there is only one color – black – the pod vape’s finish is smooth and slightly rubberized. All edges are rounded.

Riptide Ripstick in woman's hand

The Ripstick Feels Smooth! So Great in Your Hand

Once you insert the pod and get the feel of the Ripstick you’ll know why it’s becoming so popular. 

Riptide compares the shape to a surfboard and uses that image to market the Ripstick. The device is ultra-portable and the vape weighs only 27 grams.

Small, yet sturdy, I love the comfortable brushed finish. For me, it’s preferable to metal pod vapes with sharp edges.

I even like the dark e-liquid window, as it adds to the all-in-one design. It may be harder to see how much e-juice is left in the pod when it’s attached to the battery, but removing and replacing the pod doesn’t seem to harm the magnetic connection.

Quick Set Up

Once you get everything out of the box, there's not much to do before you start vaping your Ripstick. The battery comes 30% charged, but I recommend putting it on the charger until the white light goes off. It doesn’t take long.

Remove the two silicone caps at the top and bottom of the pod before inserting it into the battery. 

The vape is draw-activated so there are no buttons to push. 

There’s no maintenance other than to switch out the pod when it’s depleted. You should keep an eye on your e-liquid level as it can taste burnt if you keep vaping when the pod is empty.

Safety Features

As with all well-made pod vape systems, the Riptide Ripstick includes an automatic shutoff if your draws lasts longer than 10 seconds. 

There’s also a short-circuit protection, low-voltage protection and over-charging protection. The last two will protect your device in case you forget to charge it, or leave it on the charger after it is fully charged.


The Riptide Ripstick is one of the best closed system pod vape I’ve tried to date – and I’ve tested quite a few. 

It is currently marketed as having “tobacco free nicotine” and “no benzoic acid”, but frankly I was sold on the feel of the vape, the portability, ease of use and of course, the taste. I did not have any leaking and the 380mAh battery held a charge for over a day.

Even the pods lasted a long time. A single pod lasted for over 7 days. 

I also liked the fact that the kit and replacement pods were priced right. 

The only downside is that the e-juice can get clogged in the pod. You have to remove the pod and blow into the bottom. This usually fixes the problem.

The best features may be the nicotine formula which is tobacco-free, the sleek feel of the device and the ease of use.

Riptide Ripstick pod vape and 2 disposable pods

The Riptide Ripstick Pod Vape Kit



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    • Donnie on December 31, 2019 at 10:37 AM
    • Reply

    I got to check out but I didn’t have a code to enter

    1. Hi Donnie,

      Right now you can get an extra 15% off at checkout.

    • Calvin Weaver on December 30, 2019 at 1:56 PM
    • Reply

    What is the difference between 2% and 5% on the pods. I vape 3mg and occassionaly 6 mg. Thanks.

    1. Hi Calvin,

      Riptide Ripstick pods are available in 2.5% and 5% nicotine. When nicotine is shown as a percentage, it indicates how much of the total e-liquid is nicotine.

      2.5% is the same as 25mg of nicotine per milliliter of e-liquid. 5% nicotine is the same as 50mg of nicotine per milliliter of e-liquid.

      Keep in mind that the Ripstick e-liquid formula is different from other nicotine salts. The nicotine is tobacco free and it does not contain benzoic acid.

      As the Ripstick pods are not offered in either 3mg or 6mg levels, you may want to experiment. I’ve found the 5% level to be a bit strong for my liking so I vape the 2.5% pods.

    • George on December 24, 2019 at 2:08 AM
    • Reply

    It taste good especially the Tobacco flavored cartridge. But it’s really harsh and causes heartburn. If they are not using acids they are using something worse.

    1. Hi George,

      We appreciate your comment. I have to say, you are the first to report that you got heartburn from the Ripstick. The Ripstick uses only FDA approved ingredients. Nicotine salts traditionally use a low ph benzoic acid; however, the Ripstick does not contain this ingredient, nor any acids. That said, the 5% nic salt level can be harsher on your throat than the 3% level.

    • Bonnie Kaye on December 22, 2019 at 11:45 AM
    • Reply

    Glad I found this article! I like the ripstick almost as much as I like my njoy. Ripstick has better flavor variety of course. My favorite is the blue raspberry which I’ve only gotten one and it tasted like coffee. Weird but I liked it! Recently picked up a mint and a mango. The mint was harsh at first but I came to like it. The mango wouldn’t fire properly from day 1. I found your advice about blowing in the bottom. Had to try it a few times and blew in the top as well. After a crackle we finally have lift off! It hits perfectly now and the mango is good. Thanks for posting!!!

    1. Hi Bonnie,

      Thanks for your comment and personal review of the Ripstick. Yes, it sometimes has hiccups, but I agree, it’s one of the best pre-filled pod vapes out there. Wishing you a happy Holiday Season!

        • Ashley Tharp on January 20, 2021 at 12:43 AM
        • Reply

        I couldn’t find where to comment on my own thing. But why is my ripstick pod not staying in my vapor? It used to just magnetically stay but now it’s like the magnet dont work

        1. Hi Ashley,

          That’s very unusual. I would definitely contact the seller, explain your problem and request a new Ripstick. Good luck!

    • Latrice on October 16, 2019 at 4:51 PM
    • Reply

    The Ripstick is ok, however it does crackle and pop when I inhale.

    • Jacob on October 6, 2019 at 4:11 PM
    • Reply

    The flavor is harsh on my throat, it rarely gives any reasonable amount of vape. If I get vap I get large droplets of juice too. This is a real disappointment.

    1. Hi Jacob,

      Sorry the Ripstick didn’t work out for you. We base our reviews on our own tests and reviews we find from other buyers. Although some people have had problems with the pods, most ratings are actually 5 star.

      • George on December 24, 2019 at 2:10 AM
      • Reply

      Same here. I had a few leak on me too. Very dangerous to the lungs.

    • Jennifer Thacker on September 23, 2019 at 4:20 AM
    • Reply

    I barley get any smoke when I hit this. I’ve blown in the bottom of the pod several times and I still get no smoke. Also it always crackles when I hit it. You’ve suggested to buy another pod but at over $5.00 a piece I’m not going to keep buying pods. I’m going to stick with my NJOY vape!!! I forgot to add that the flavors suck too!

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Sorry your Ripstick is not working for you. Although I have never suggested buying more pods, I have suggested blowing into both the bottom and top of the pod. I also suggest you contact the company from which you purchased your Ripstick as you may be able to get a replacement or refund.

    • Joyce barbaria on September 9, 2019 at 1:24 PM
    • Reply

    Really happy with mine dont forget to remove the plastic enclosures at both ends of the pod

  1. Hi Eric,

    If your product isn’t charging, contact the seller as you may need a replacement.

    • Eric on August 28, 2019 at 10:05 PM
    • Reply

    Wont charge, what should I do?

    • Keith on July 25, 2019 at 10:58 AM
    • Reply

    I have the same issue…no smoke… tried all the suggested actions but still nothing. I ordered a new battery to see if it is the issue. Not a good first impression.

    • Tim Mahoney on June 12, 2019 at 1:13 PM
    • Reply

    You didn’t comment about taste. I think it’s terrible.

    • Nick on June 3, 2019 at 10:54 PM
    • Reply

    My rip stick isn’t hitting its charged but I’m not getting any cloud from it the light comes on but its not hitting. Is there a solution or do I have to buy another one.

    1. Hi Nick,
      Yes, this has happened to others. Removing the pod and blowing into the bottom should do the trick. This will clear any clogged e-juice. Contact the seller if it doesn’t resolve the problem.

        • Karen Gohlsen on July 8, 2019 at 8:31 PM
        • Reply

        The pods don’t work no matter how much you blow into them. On my first order, one of 3 pods worked. In the order they sent to replace it, one didn’t work at all and one of the others stopped working with half the liquid still in the pod. Flavors are bad, the only one I could make it through was mint. I’m not going to bother with this product, I recommend others stay away as well.

        1. Hi Karen,

          Sorry the Ripstick didn’t work out for you. We base our reviews on our own tests and reviews we find from other buyers. Although some people have had problems with the pods, most ratings are actually 5 star, with people citing the fact that the tobacco free formula e-juice is a great alternative to nic salts.

    • toni on May 23, 2019 at 12:05 PM
    • Reply

    I love my Ripstick but have a concern. It makes alot of crackling and popping when I hit it. Is this normal?

    • Toni on May 23, 2019 at 11:55 AM
    • Reply

    I had the same problem and realized I needed to remove the plug in the pod itself. Hope this helps

    • Georgia on May 6, 2019 at 9:18 PM
    • Reply

    Is there a refillable cartridge or do you have to buy their prefilled disposables only?

    1. Hi Georgia,

      The Riptide Ripstick is a “closed-system” pod vape pen which means it is not refillable. If they ever do come out with a refillable pod, I will surely update our review.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Daniel Wisdom on May 3, 2019 at 6:33 PM
    • Reply

    How do I activate my Ripstick it doing nonthing I charged it for a hour but no smoke

    1. Hi Daniel,

      It seems this has happened to a few others when using the Ripstick. Try removing the pod and blowing into the bottom. This will clear any clogged e-juice. If you still have problems, I suggest contacting the seller to report the issue.

    • Korynne on March 22, 2019 at 10:27 PM
    • Reply

    I have a few questions about this product. When I plug it in to charge, it doesn’t light up but it does blink a white light when I unplug it. It also won’t hit so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong

    1. Hi Korynne,

      The Riptide Ripstick battery comes about 30% charged, but it should only takes about a half hour to get a full charge – a bit more if the battery is fully depleted. When the battery is fully charged the white indicator light turns off.

      If your Ripstick doesn’t hit, the problem is most likely the pod, not the battery. Try to inhale soft and slow, as the pod does not require a hard and fast pull. Also to clear any liquid that is clogged, remove the pod and place a napkin in front of the mouthpiece. Then blow on the back end. That helps clear up any liquid that could be causing the pod not to fire and or gurgling. However, if you pull hard and fast, it will continue to happen. You should also wait at least 10 seconds between puffs as there is an auto-shut off if you draw too frequently. Hope this helps!

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