There are many reasons today why people take up vaping with an e-cigarette. Often, it all starts with a desire to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes without suffering from nicotine withdrawal. Some people use the e-cig as a temporary substitute for cigarettes and slowly discontinue use, but many continue to use e-cigs in order to continue to enjoy the benefits of nicotine, while avoiding the carcinogens and tar found in smoke.
But not everyone vapes just to get the satisfaction of a little nicotine. You'll find people who love the taste of e liquid and consider it to be a special treat that they can look forward to. You'll meet people who use an e cig as a way to take a break from the day and just relax a little. And if you hang around in smoke shops or get involved with vaping message boards, you're liable to eventually meet a cloud chaser - someone who vapes as a sport.
Meet the Cloud Chasers
Cloud chasers are individuals who participate in competitive vaping or cloud chasing. The idea behind cloud chasing is to produce the biggest cloud of vapor possible using an electronic cigarette. Originally, cloud chasing began strictly for entertainment. People showed off their ability to blow out huge vapor clouds in YouTube videos, videos posted in forums and live in vape shops.
Slowly, cloud chasing became something that people did for bragging rights. Cloud chasers looked to outdo each other and be the one capable of making the absolute biggest cloud.
Then, large smoke shops and the manufacturers of e juice and electronic cigarettes got involved and started to make cloud chasing into an actual competition. It began with small local competitions with a few competitors. Winners could expect to receive a small cash prize, a gift card, vaping accessories, and other small prizes. Interest grew, and now, there are two huge tournaments held annually in the United States. The first is the International Cloud Championships in California, and the second is the World Series of Vape in Las Vegas. Large cash prizes are awarded at both events, taking the competition to a whole new level of intensity.
What It Takes to Be a Champ
Excelling at cloud chasing takes considerable practice and skill. In fact, you have to go through so much training to be competitive that cloud chasers are sometimes called "professional vapers". To be a champion, professional vapers have to take many things into consideration and master many skills. Some keys to success include:
1. Power Supplies - you can't create professional-sized clouds of vapor from standard vaporizer batteries. Instead, cloud chasers must use high voltage e cigarette batteries and experiment to find how much power they can use in a vape while still ensuring a safe experience.
2. Flow of Air - with every electronic cigarette, there is a sweet spot where air flow is ideal for making a great big cloud of vapor. Anything less results in a difficult draw, and anything more can make it difficult to control, resulting in lost vapor. Cloud chasers have to spend tons of time fine-tuning air flow on each device that they use.
3. e-Liquid - eLiquid products that are made entirely or mostly from VG, or vegetable glycerine, are typically favored by professional vapers. It can take months of experimentation to find which e liquid will give the biggest clouds in a cloud chaser's favorite e cig setup.
4. Equipment - you can't cloud chase even with the best vape pen that you take right off the shelf. Professional vapers typically buy specialty cloud chaser models, like those made by Cloud Chasers, Inc. and Olympia. These electronic cigarettes typically have specially designed heating coil pieces or atomizers that allow cloud chasers to drip their e liquid right onto the heating element to ensure efficiency. Normally, electronic cigarettes for cloud chasing are mech mods, meaning they have no controls in place to regulate voltage from the battery. This makes it possible for cloud chasers to have complete control over the performance of their vapes, but it also means that a lot of trial and error is needed to find out what settings and combinations of equipment work the best.
5. Inhalation Method and Posture - every cloud chaser has developed the best way for him or her to create a big cloud of vapor. Everything from the speed and force of their draw, to the way that they hold their mouths, to the position in which they sit can impact the size of the vapor cloud.
How to Cloud Chase
Cloud chasing involves the use of complicated electronic cigarettes and can be dangerous if not done properly. That's why cloud chasers typically suggest that newbies spend time learning from pro vapers before they try to cloud chase on their own. You can learn a lot from joining forums and social media groups, watching YouTube videos, and reading blogs and articles posted online. When you're ready to get started, take your time and don't give up. No athlete ever went straight from little league to the pros! With time, dedication to practice, and attention to safety, you could be cloud chasing like a pro eventually.