Vaping is becoming an alternative to smokers who are attempting to kick old habits. With less side effects and a familiar approach, vaping offers people a healthier substitute for cigarettes. Custom vaping is easily achieved and many people are personalising their experiences.
With a myriad of options available, people are using specialised mods, custom coils, and even experimenting with the wide variety of flavours in e-liquids. Vapers have developed communities around their custom vaping experiences, so it isn’t a shock to discover that there are two distinct groups: cloud chasing and flavour chasing. Discover what group you should be in.
What is Cloud Chasing and Flavour Chasing?
Not a complex idea, cloud chasing is for those who want to produce the largest and most impressive vapour clouds. Flavour chasers are those who enjoy intensity of flavour above all else and strive to find e-liquids to sample.
While there is, of course, an element of cloud and flavour in every custom vaping experience, everyone has a preference for either large clouds or intense flavours. With that in mind, our guide to cloud and flavour chasing will help you understand what you prefer and how you can achieve your vaping goals.
The Cloud Chasing Guide
With origins in the West Coast of the United States, cloud chasers want massive vapour clouds that can engulf a room. Vaping is very much associated with incredible clouds and there are now global competitions celebrating the mammoth abundance of these types of vapes. A subculture that now relies on cutting-edge research into materials and technology, getting into cloud chasing requires some background knowledge.
Understanding Your Vape for Cloud Chasing
One of the major parts of cloud chasing is having the right equipment and materials for your vape to make impressive clouds. This factors in the vape itself as well as the e-liquid. Here are some materials to consider when preparing to become a cloud chaser:
Get the right e-liquid. The general consensus for e-liquids or e-juice is that liquids with higher VG content produce thicker and larger clouds. Most vapers choose to vape with a 70 to 30 VG to PG ratio. People who compete in vape competitions sometimes choose to vape with the max VG content avilable.
The max VG content is 100%. This is an incredibly heavy liquid that can produce massive clouds. Word from the wise though, ensure that you clean your vape after use - VG is very sticky and can create gunk on your coil.
Choose a powerful mod. For the majority of vapers, regulated mods produce impressive clouds that are satisfactory but a lot of vapers want an even more customised approach, relying on mechanical mods. Mechanical mods are usually custom built by their users, with users building their own coils and atomisers.
Mechanical mods are pure battery, with great air holes and connectivity - making the perfect option for a cloud chaser. While they may produce great clouds, mechanical mods should not be used by beginner vapers. They require a lot of technical knowledge and for those who are new to vaping, not understanding electrical systems could cause serious harm to users.
Massive clouds are still achievable with regulated mods and, in particular, box mods which pack a lot more power and produce clouds that any vaper would be proud of. One regulated mod we particularly like is the Nautilus Prime X. It gives all the strength you need to create great clouds.
For those with experience, atomisers can transform your cloud experience. Rebuildable Drip Atomisers or RDAs are used mostly by those who want a professional cloud that fills a room. Known as ‘drippers’, they allow the manual dripping of e-liquids onto the coil. Sub-ohm tanks can be used but they don’t have as much power as an RDA due to its superior air-flow control.
Airflow is one of the most important factors in vaping. It is a very tricky thing to manage as you need airflow to lower the resistance of the vape but, if there is too much of it, you risk thinning your clouds out.
While it is important to produce big clouds, you also want your clouds to have some density to it. Playing around with airflow is critical if you want to balance these factors delicately. Another thing to consider here is the mod overheating, so ensuring you manage your airflow is crucial for the custom vaping experience.
One of the major factors of large and dense clouds is coil build. Lowering your coil resistance can ensure that you have the maximum vape cloud possible. There are a variety of coils that users can select, from single to dual coils. However, many regular users prefer dual coils as they produce a greater amount of vapour.
Argued to be the most important part of cloud chasing, your coil needs to have a large surface area to achieve large clouds. This is due to wanting more of the coil to interact with the wick. If this happens, you’ll produce more vapour and develop more impressive clouds.
While having equipment is important, having a vaping technique is also crucial in providing excellent clouds. Learning how to inhale and exhale effectively can depend on how successful your cloud is.
To achieve this, a user has to ensure their posture is opening up their lungs and not exhaling too quickly, to ensure that the cloud is large. A lot of users use a technique called the rip tripper. This involves physically moving backwards as you exhale your cloud.
An important factor in every vape, ensuring that you have a good and safe battery is critical for the quality of your vape and even your safety. Cloud chasers tend to use customised designs which put them at risk from explosion.
Invest in a good and known battery option if building your own vape. Safety is paramount, after all.
Cloud Chasing Competitions
Competitions are a great way of bringing the vaping community together to show off techniques, demonstrate how you can improve your skill-set, and learn more about vaping in general. Cloud chasers can get involved with these competitions and even make some good money from these events.
Companies like Vapor Capitol run competitions every year. Their event is known as the ‘VC Cloud Championship’ which attracts thousands of attendees per year. Professional vapers can earn up to $10,000 while bringing in sponsorships, and their own custom mods.
Competitions are all over the world but are particularly popular in the United States and the United Kingdom. Vape Fest happens in the Greenhouse West Mid Showground in Shropshire annually.
The Flavour Chasing Guide
Not everyone values larger clouds over flavour. Some prefer to experiment with the taste and texture. If this is the case for you, you are a flavour chaser. A flavour chaser places value in the flavours that e-liquids provide and many people enjoy the opportunity to sample the myriad of flavours that are on offer.
Understanding Your Vape for Flavour Chasing
Honing your vape to provide incredible and intense flavours is important and there are many factors to consider when choosing the correct vape or maintaining your device to ensure maximum flavour. We’ve put together some of our tips to allow you to experience a pleasant vape.
E-Liquids PG and VG Ratio
One of the most important parts of flavour chasing is your PG to VG ratio. Most users find that if you have too high VG content, your flavour is lacking and you’re not getting the full benefits of the taste.
To achieve a maximum flavour, most users opt for a 50/50 ratio of VG and PG to experience the intense flavours that e-liquids can offer.
Changing Your E-liquids
Another important part of flavour chasing is ensuring that you can still experience the full bodied nature of the e-liquids. Something that happens to regular vapers is the loss of senses one can achieve if vaping the same flavour consistently. Known as ‘vaper’s fatigue’, it occurs when a user doesn’t experiment with any other flavour.
With such an impressive selection of e-juice available, ensure that you are changing flavours regularly to prevent loss of taste and smell, and to reset your palette. Don’t miss out on the incredible options you have.
Storing Your E-Liquids
Naturally, where you store your e-liquid can impact the flavour of your vaping experience. Heat and light exposure can degrade your e-juice through altering the chemistry of the liquid. One way of combating this is to ensure that your e-liquids are stored in cool and dry places which will maintain the chemistry and thus the flavour.
A top tip is to leave your e-liquid in a cool, dry space to intensify the flavour of the liquid. Letting them sit for a few weeks can create an intense flavour that is enjoyable for users. Don’t try to age them like a wine though, they do have an expiration date.
Maintaining Your Vape
If your vape isn’t allowing you to experience intense flavours, there is a high possibility that it isn’t clean enough. If this is the case, ensure you clean out your atomiser well. If you are a regular vaper, e-liquid can cause deposits in the device, creating a gunk that needs to be removed if you are wanting to taste anything.
Take your device apart once a week and clean it thoroughly to prevent any unpleasant taste and to enhance your vaping experience.
Something to note is that flavours vaporise at different temperatures, so ensuring that your wattage is set correctly is pertinent to the delivery of strong flavour. Start with lower settings and build up until you have achieved the desired effect for your flavour. Every liquid is different, so it is a trial and error procedure.
Most cloud chasers want controlled airflow that is big to ensure big clouds. Flavour chasers want their airflow closed off. While it is important to not close it off entirely, as this can overheat your vapour, you can start low again and adjust accordingly. If you have below-coil airflow, position is even more important as is a good dripper.
Chasing Your Vaping Experience
Whether you are a cloud chaser or a flavour chaser, there is always something to indulge in. Vaping provides a host of custom experiences to suit every user and provides a healthier alternative to smoking.