What Is Cloud Chase Vaping? How To Cloud Chase: The Ultimate Guide

Featured image for MIST's ultimate guide to cloud chasing

No, we’re not about to divulge tips on how to hunt down cumulonimbi! Our Ultimate Guide to Cloud Chasing will actually be taking a thorough look at a popular and much-loved vaping sport.

Sport you say? Yes indeed! 

While its primary function was as an effective alternative to smoking, vaping has rapidly evolved over the last decade. The emergence of cloud chasing (or sub-ohming) was the result of a burgeoning community of vapers who realised the potential of what e-cigarettes could do. When you happen to see someone with a fairly chunky vape kit and, in the next moment, their head has almost totally disappeared behind a dense plume of vapour—that’s cloud chasing!

So, if what you’ve read has piqued your interest, or you’re already a vape aficionado looking for some more info, our Ultimate Guide to Cloud Chasing will serve as a valuable reference point.

Cloud chase vaping explained:

  1. What is cloud chasing?
  2. What makes cloud chasing enjoyable?
  3. How does cloud chasing work?
  4. How do I cloud chase?
  5. What vape tank should I use?
  6. What are some beginner tips for cloud chasing?

1. What is cloud chasing?

Simply put, cloud chasing (also referred to as “extreme vaping” and “stunt vaping”) is the act of producing large clouds of vapour with an e-cigarette.

man covered with huge vape clouds

While no one is entirely sure when cloud chasing began, many believe it was probably around 2012, originating in the West Coast of the USA. Whether or not this can be confirmed, what is certain is that by 2014 cloud chasing competitions had popped up all over the globe, with enthusiasts going toe-to-toe to showcase their proficiency at the new sport. 

The fast-growing popularity of this new activity led the inventor of e-cigarettes, Hon Lik to say, “When automotive manufacturers 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.” We salute you Hon!

Since 2014, vapers have been consistently pushing the boundaries of their cloud kits, and refining their skills on the competitive stage. But you don’t have to compete to enjoy cloud chasing. As we will show you, there’s much to recommend this activity beyond adding to your trophy cabinet!

2. What makes cloud chasing enjoyable?

When compared with conventional MTL (mouth-to-lung) vaping, Cloud chasing is a wildly different beast!

man producing huge vape clouds

While the former is often used as a more affordable, healthier alternative to smoking (replicating the “hit” of cigarettes with added flavour), the latter prioritises the amount and quality of the vapour you inhale and exhale. As you are drawing a lot of thick vapour directly into your lungs, the duration of each individual vape is considerably longer than, say, what you get from an MTL starter kit. This all makes for a much “fuller”, more flavoursome vaping experience.

Not only this, but, due to the amount of vapour users can manipulate, cloud chasing allows for a plethora of vaping skills and tricks—hence it being considered a sport! 

Ultimately it’s difficult to properly convey the pleasures of cloud chasing with words. It is such a unique experience that you really have to try it for yourself to appreciate how enjoyable it can be.

3. How does cloud chasing work?

In order to cloud chase, vapers either use an RDA (rebuildable drip atomizer) or a sub-ohm kit.

man exhaling huge vape clouds

There are also some hybrid vape kits that allow for both MTL (mouth-to-lung) and DTL(direct-to-lung) vaping. We’ll discuss vape tanks in more depth later in the article.

The most important thing to remember about cloud kits is that they use vape coils that have a resistance lower than 1 ohm (regular vape kits tend to use coils with a resistance in the 1.5 to 3 ohms range). Because of this reduced resistance, the atomiser coil is able to heat up faster and vaporise more vape juice. The increased current passing through the coil enables your sub ohm kit to produce more intense flavour and head-turning nebulae of vapour!

As you are taking the vapour directly into your lungs, the mouthpiece or drip tip on sub ohm kits is designed to be wider than MTL kits. Furthermore, the battery tends to be a lot more powerful, as the more power you provide the coil, the hotter it gets, and the more vapour is produced—simple!

4. How do I cloud chase?

If you’re new to DTL vaping, it can take a while to get to grips with what runs contrary to your previous vaping experience—taking in too little vapour will be a lacklustre experience, and too much will have you coughing and spluttering like a Victorian in a factory town! 

woman cloud chasing

It’s important to remember that cloud chasing requires the necessary knowledge in order to be performed safely. After all, there’s a reason it’s considered a skill!

9 key factors before cloud chasing:

1. Battery Safety 

Make sure you use the safest batteries available like the Sony VT6A, or the Molicel P26A, among others. If you are unsure, don’t hesitate to ask.

2. Airflow

A combination of airflow and resistance is needed. The lower the resistance, the more airflow is needed. However, if there is too much airflow, your vapor can thin and disperse.

3. E-liquid

This is extremely important. VG (vegetable glycerin) typically creates more vapor than PG (propylene glycol) so make sure you use vape juice with a VG-dominant blend. PG dominant blends are not suited for sub ohm tanks, and have the potential to cause a dry hit or sore throat.

4. Atomizer

As we will get to later, some cloud chasers opt to use RDAs for cloud chasing, but in recent years sub-ohm tanks have advanced so much that they are more than enough for most vapers. However, for the cloud junkies among you, you may be best served by RDAs with airflow control.

5. Mod 

Ensure you use the correct mod. Mech mods provide raw power but newer models also come close. You should also be careful when using mech mods as they have no safety systems, meaning if you are not careful you can trigger an electrical short.

6. Wicking 

Using the correct material and thickness is important in order for air and vape juice to flow through the coils.

7. Coil Build 

There are numerous coil builds that a user can create and each will have an impact on the vapor production. However, it is advised that more vapor is created, the lower the resistance needed. For those not building their own coils for an RDA, check out our guide on what type of vape coils you think you need

8. Technique 

Don’t be dismayed if you struggle at first as cloud chasing techniques can take months of practice. Just ensure you have the correct body posture, and work on your inhaling and exhaling techniques—you’ll get it!

9. Genetics

Some people will be born with a bigger lung capacity than others, which will determine how large their clouds are. Can’t change the hand we’re dealt! Don’t worry though, as the difference will be slight, and won’t really affect your overall enjoyment of cloud chasing. 

5. What vape tank should I use?

When it comes to cloud chasing, there are two types of vape tanks that reign supreme: RDAs and Sub ohm. All in all, what vape tank you use depends on your vaping needs.

man holding vape mod with RTA tank

We’re going to break down each type to see which suits your needs best. 

RDA vape tanks

For many years, if you were serious about vapour, an RBA (Re Buildable Atomiser) was the only way to go. But let’s unpack this a bit.

RBA‘s can be split into 3 sub categories: RDAs (Rebuildable Dripping Atomiser), RTAs (Rebuildable Tank Atomiser), and RDTA (Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomiser). 

Yes, I know that’s a lot of acronyms, but bear with us.

Believe it or not, RBAs were an integral part of vape history. Before “drop in coils” became widely available, RBAs were the only way to achieve a high-performance vape. 

For cloud chasers (especially those on the competitive stage), RDAs are by far the most popular vape system. As opposed to most store bought tanks that you fill periodically, each time you want to vape with an RDA, you have to drip your vape juice into the tank via the driptip—this is known as “redripping”.

Without going into too much detail, the reason RDAs are suited to cloud chasing is because—having space for two or more heavy coils with large diameters like Aliens, Claptons, and other ingenious wire designs—they can be engineered to allow for massive amounts of airflow. These types of RDAs are often referred to as “Competitive RDAs“. 

Bear in mind there’s a lot you have to learn in order to become proficient with self-built vapes. To avoid accidents, care and caution is strongly recommended when constructing your own RDA.

However, if this is all tickling your fancy, check out our blog for more information on RDAs

Sub-ohm vape tanks/kits

Of course, not everyone wants to push the envelope of what their tanks can achieve. 

In recent years sub-ohm kits have advanced to such a degree that, unless you’re battling in the vape arena, they are more than satisfactory when it comes to producing luscious plumes of vapour. 

The main reason for opting for sub-ohm kits is convenience. If you don’t want to be fiddling around with finicky vape components, potentially causing a mess or worse, and carefully applying e-liquid every time you want to vape, then sub-ohm kits are for you.

When it comes to cloud chasing, sub-ohm tanks might not quite be on the same level as RDAs but, in recent years, e-cigarette manufacturers have worked diligently to create sub-ohm tanks that give the best rebuildable atomisers a run for their money

One such example of a sub-ohm kit perfect for cloud chasing is the Voopoo Argus Pod Vape Kit. Creators of the unrivalled DRAG series, Voopoo have consistently surprised us with their ingenious designs, and this versatile vape kit is no exception.

Not only is it a hybrid that can be used for both MTL or DTL vaping, but it utilises “draw activation technology”, meaning you don’t have to push a button to vape—just take a puff and voila! Their celebrated GENE chip ensures that you have immediate ramp up, and consistent power for the duration of your vape. Versatile, affordable and perfect for the casual cloud chaser!

For those who want a little more bang for their buck, the SMOK Rigel Kit, certainly packs a punch for the price. After being mainly focused on pod kits, this exquisitely designed vape device marks a return for SMOK to what they were best known for—cloud kits that obscure the user’s face with vast plumes! Utilising a dual battery system, it requires two 18650 batteries to operate, equating to more than enough power for huge plumes.

It is also incredibly user-friendly, doing away with temperature control and bypass mode (which most vapers weren’t even using) in order to streamline the vaping experience.

MIST has plenty more cloud kits to choose from, so don’t hesitate to have a browse! Or check out our picks for the Top 7 Best Sub-Ohm Kits for July 2021.

6. What are some beginner tips for cloud chasing?

We know this can all seem fairly daunting for beginners, so we’ve outlined a few key tips to help you get started:

man producing large vapour of clouds

Tip 1: Find the right airflow

Remember, finding the right airflow will be an exercise in trial and error. Don’t be too concerned if you make a few mistakes in your pursuit of the ultimate cloud!

Tip 2: Find the right body posture

The right body posture and inhale/exhale technique plays a huge role in the size of the cloud. Practice, practice, practice. 

Tip 3: Consider using a drip tip

Though we only recommend this for advanced vapours, some cloud chasers choose not to use a drip tip, allowing for more vapor to be inhaled.

Tip 4: Use a 24g wire

For RDA enthusiasts, remember that the majority of chasers use a 24g wire for their builds.

Tip 5: Always use a high VG e-liquid

Always, always, always ensure you are using a high VG e-liquid!

Conclusion

Cloud chasing arguably makes vaping so much more than just a means to deliver nicotine to the body. Though, primarily, our aim at MIST is to help people quit smoking by transitioning to vaping, we also deeply respect the passion of those who partake in this inimitable vaping sport. Whatever your vaping needs, we want to satisfy them, and if that boils down to creating copious clouds, then believe us we can totally relate! 

Hopefully, our Ultimate Guide to Cloud Chasing will give you a good foundation to facilitate a love for vast amounts of delicious vapour. Though we also realise this can be a fairly complex subject (especially concerning RDAs), so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck—the chase is on!

For more great articles on a variety of vaping topics, check out a sample of our many guides below. 

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