Everything you need to know about cloud chasing
If you keep abreast of news in the world of vaping, it’s likely that you’ll have heard the term cloud chasing before now. But for those who aren’t in the know, or haven’t heard the phrase before, here’s everything you need to know about cloud chasing.
Whilst many people might take up vaping as a less harmful alternative to traditional tobacco products, there is an emerging trend who are taking vape devices to a whole new level. Cloud chasing is a competitive “sporting” sphere, where vapers go up against one another to create impressive structures and design as they exhale the vapor from their devices, or simply attempt to produce the biggest, densest plume of vapor possible.
Vaping began to infiltrate the mainstream market and gain prominence in America in 2004. Data suggests there are over 10,000 vape shops across the country, and it is here that cloud chasing has its origins. Sarah Merriweather competes competitively in cloud chasing, and she explained to LA Weekly that it was her local vape shop that first got her interested in the activity, “I took up vaping to get off cigarettes. Then vape shops around town started organizing competitions and I was like, you know what, I’m going to give this a try,”.
As for the actual competitions themselves, they are normally held at exhibitions or largescale events that draw spectators in their hundreds. Prizes can range from cash to free products, with the very top prizes including thousands of dollars a time. Wall Street Journal has dubbed cloud chasing an extreme sport, a description that Hon Lik, one of the first vaping pioneers supports, “When automotive manufactures first started out, they were not thinking about a sport to be called Formula One. You always have groups of people who are looking for excitement.”. Whilst the comparison to Formula One might have seemed outrageous once upon a time, cloud chasing competitions are drawing audiences and attracting sponsors at a rate to silence even the most pessimistic of nonbelievers.
However, there are some within the vaping community itself who are not so keen to embrace cloud chasing as a legitimates sport. There is the worry that encouraging the production of overly-large clouds of vapor in public could reinforce some of the negative opinions that already surround use of e-cigarettes. Whilst second-hand vapor remains a hot topic in the media and amongst scientific experts, there is no firm evidence to suggest it is harmful to bystanders. That said, encountering masses of vapor out and about could be a little bit intimidating to those who don’t have as much knowledge on e-cigarettes as we’d like.
This could be addressed by education on vape etiquette, such as confining cloud chasing to vape shops, just one of the suggestions made by other vapers to reduce an discomfort or inconvenience that cloud chasing might have on others.
On the other hand, if your interest in cloud chasing has been piqued, there are a few interesting methods that cloud chasers use to help them impress when they compete, and there’s a wealth of videos on social media describing technique and instruction. If you’ve never thought of cloud chasing before and you fancy giving it a try, here are our first three tips you need to look at before you get started:
1 – E-liquids or e-juices with higher VG (vegetable glycerine) content tend to produce thicker vapor as it is for viscous in its liquid form. It is worth noting thought that high VG e-liquids do tend to clog up coils faster, purely because they are more dense.
2 – Increasing the airflow in a device can help produce more vapor as it increases the cooling capacity. This also means you can keep the temperature lower, saving your wick from burning out.
3 – More power means more clouds. Going with a sub ohm clearomizer means you’ll be more likely to cope with increased power, but make sure you match this with the suggested settings on the coil.
If you think you might be more into cloud gazing, there are a number of events around the country that you can go along to and admire the work of others.