Two vapers face off in the center of a spotlit boxing ring, gripping their vaporizers with sweaty palms. They’re smiling, a little delirious from the high of competition, the motley aroma of wax concentrate, dry herb, and nicotine hanging in the air, and the absurdity of their task. When the announcer screams “It’s time!” they take long, stone-faced draws from their mod vapes like champs, sending giant clouds of vapor billowing toward the rafters to long and stormy applause.
Welcome to the world of competitive vaping. To insiders, it’s known as cloud-chasing. Today there are two big events--the International Cloud Competitions in California and the World Series of Vape in Las Vegas--with smaller competitions sprouting up in theaters and warehouses across the country. While there are vape trick contests, vape games usually pair up two vapers to see who can vape the biggest clouds. This has led competitiors to start beefing up their vaporizers through customization.
If you ever wondered about the limits of your vaporizer, in terms of sheer vapor production, competitive vaping is feeling those limits out--sometimes to an extent that’s not recommended. Cloud chasers stay on the bleeding edge of what’s possible with vaporizer mods like the Kanger Subox Mini kit, a powerful customizable type of ecigarette, in order to produce the biggest clouds possible. The result is a spectacle that’s both entertaining and a little controversial in the vaping community.
Let's take a deeper look into how competitive vapers get the most out of their vaporizer mods.
Customized for Competition
Competitors, otherwise known as cloud chasers, customize their vaporizers for optimal performance in competition, generally relying on personal vaporizer mods because they not only have excellent vapor production but can be customized to produce even more vapor. What is a mod? Imagine a more advanced high performance version of an ejuice vape pen that can be modified with rebuilt atomizers and variable power adjustments.
Vaporizer mods appeal to cloud chasers by virtue of their DIY nature. You can switch out a mod vape’s clearomizer (a tank with an atomizer) with a custom atomizer, even one you built yourself, to increase vapor production. This is accomplished by buying or building an atomizer with a resistance level below 1 ohm.
When using a sub ohm atomizer like the Horizon Arctic Clearomizer, the low-resistance heating coils increase the power output from the device’s battery to create super-charged clouds of vapor. This can sometimes put extra stress on your vaporizer battery, so for beginners, it’s always recommended that you buy atomizers with resistance levels of at least 1 ohm. That said, many mods like the Kanger Subox Mini and its sister units come with advanced ventilation specifically for safe sub ohm vaping.
Customization in competitive vaping goes even further than mod vaporizers. After all, what’s in your heating chamber matters just as much as the vape mod itself. Most cloud chasers don’t use nicotine, wax concentrates, or dry herb in competition, for example. Instead, they choose the best tool for the job, an ejuice high in glycerine that will produce the thickest plumes of vapor possible.
The emergence of cloud chasing has polarized vapers, with cloud chasers chalking it up to harmless fun, and some others concerned the games are hurting the image of a vaping community that’s already under scrutiny from lawmakers. For instance, some restaurants and bars have already banned indoor vaping. Some vapers believe that blowing large clouds of vapor in public will lead those who are on the fence about vape laws to fall on the side of more restrictions. Whatever the case, the growing popularity of competitive cloud chasing is evidence that vaping is not going away anytime soon.