Cloud Chasing: The Official Guide
E-cigarettes, technically, got their start some decades ago. But the true advent of the trend and the rise of vaping has really only gotten underway in the last ten years, largely in response to the ban on smoking tobacco in public spaces.
Alongside vaping’s rise in popularity has grown a group of expert vapers who enjoy customizing and building their own vaporizers and mastering the art of “cloud chasing” – something that is now being dubbed a “sport” for vapers. Cloud chasing competitions are now a regular occurrence in vaping shops everywhere, and there are even organized national and international competitions.
So, what exactly is cloud chasing and how did it become such a big deal? We’ll explain.
What is cloud chasing?
Simply stated, cloud chasing is when vapers blow the densest, biggest cloud of vapor they possibly can, and/or when they blow the vapor into specific shapes, or do tricks like the “dragon” or the “French inhale.”
While blowing smoke rings is as old as the habit of smoking itself, the “extreme” vaping dubbed “cloud chasing” is a relatively new development. It began being publicized in 2014 and in 2015 there was a significant increase in official competitions across the globe.
While its origins can’t be too specifically known, it is believed to have begun more formally on the west coast of the United States.
Cloud Chasing Competitions
As strange as it may seem, as cloud chasing took off and media started taking note, it was dubbed as the “extreme sport” of vaping.
In a matter of just a couple of years, it became an international sport, complete with competitions, judges, sponsors, teams, spectators and even prizes. Prizes range from things as simple as free gear to as grand as cash prizes in the thousands of dollars! There are competitions held the world over, and there is even talk of a vaping league in the making.
Competitions are known as “cloud competitions,” the competitors “cloud chasers” and the spectators “cloud gazers.” At these competitions, cloud chasers compete to see who can blow the biggest and densest cloud, as well as compete for best shapes and tricks.
Judges measure the clouds with yard sticks, or in some instances, there will be measuring marks on the wall which cloud chasers stand next to as they exhale their cloud. There are whole lists of rules and procedures, explained on numerous cloud chasing websites.
The public opinion on cloud chasing is quite a mixed bag, even among vapers and cloud chasers.
Many vapers are worried that cloud chasing will give vaping bad press, as some do it out in public, obnoxiously forcing those nearby to walk through and breathe in their vapor cloud. To some, it also seems a touch on the ridiculous, again, they believe, potentially putting vaping in a bad light.
While many fear that cloud chasing can give vaping a bad name for one reason or another, others believe it does the opposite. Some even call vaping competitions “anti-smoking rallies,” claiming that it raises awareness about vaping and ultimately encourages cigarette smokers to quit.
Avid cloud chasers love the competition and the recreation, but often still plead with fellow vapers to be sure to keep their clouds to the vape shops or their private spaces, instead of chasing in public, where it could offend and lead to bad press.
For those interested in becoming cloud chasers, there are tons of resources and videos to learn proper technique as well what mods to purchase and how to assemble and customize your own cloud chasing machine.
Because the activity can be rather dangerous, it is extremely important that those interested first do their research thoroughly. Then, the best way to start is with a sub ohm tank with a regulated (rather than custom) mod. These will be the safest and allow newbies a chance to learn technique and about ohm’s law and battery safety before venturing into crafting their own mod.
If you have no intentions of competing, stick with the above. If, however, you want to get serious, you will need to build your own. First, be sure to truly and thoroughly learn about ohms’ law and battery safety, as well as the proper way to use a vape charger.
The key components that make a vaporizer great for cloud chasing are the right atomizer, battery, and coil build. Besides that, you will also need to learn proper inhale/exhale technique and choose the e-liquids that have higher VG concentration.
There are a wide variety of builds that work well for cloud chasing, so get out there and do your research and try a few out to find what you enjoy the most.
Cloud chasing can be quite fun and provide a great opportunity for friendly competition and awareness when done right. It has created quite a tight subculture, made up of many who have gained freedom from cigarette smoking through vaping and cloud chasing.
It can be quite dangerous, however. When someone attempts to cloud chase and/or make their own mods when they do not properly understand battery safety, the ohm law, proper coil technique and the importance of proper air flow, they risk overheating their devices and exploding their battery, which has sent many to the hospital.
If you plan to pursue cloud chasing, first:
- Do your homework and do it thoroughly. There are innumerable resources and videos.
- Start small. Get a regulated mod with a sub ohm tank to start before attempting to make your own mod.
- Don’t be obnoxious aka – don’t blow your smoke in public places like a grocery store or restaurant. This is sure to gain bad press rather than good opinion. Go to a vape shop or use your own private space.