Planet of the Vapes!
As you know, at SmokeyJoes we live and breathe vaping … literally. Among the many aspects of an amazing vaping lifestyle, one of the most exciting subcultures is the vaping competitions that are popping up here, there and everywhere.
If you’re as enthusiastic about vaping as we are, then you will be excited to read all about enthusiasts of all levels gathering at the biggest vape events around the UK. The Vaper Expo UK and VapeJam UK are all UK based and are fun-filled days with vapers competing in events where they blow the biggest, longest and coolest-looking clouds.
If you want to take the next step in cloud chasing and participate in vaping competitions, this 101 guide will help you get started with information on how competitions generally work, what you can do to perform well as a beginner, and what major vape events you can attend to become familiar with vaping competitions.
But before we start diving into the details of the vaping world, there are a few things you should consider that come with the world of competitive cloud chasing.
Competitive Vaping Considerations
As much as we would all love to walk in, vape our way through to the final and win, unfortunately, it doesn’t happen like this.
Vaping competitions require a certain level of expertise. This seems pretty obvious and it sort of goes without saying that if you want to compete against other vapers, you’re expected to have some experience with cloud chasing. This includes practical knowledge about builds and e-liquids suited for competition, as well as inhalation and exhalation techniques. If you’ve read our starter’s guide to vaping in 2019, then you’ll already have some of the basic knowledge needed for competitive vaping.
As a refresher, here are the fundamental factors to cloud chasing:
Tanks — Maximising vapour production is critical to creating competition-worthy clouds. You’ll need either rebuildable drip atomizers (RDA) or sub-ohm tanks to produce as much vapour as possible.
Batteries — Mods used for vaping competitions require a heavy-duty power source. Although official contests typically provide batteries tested for competition, you should still keep safety in mind when practising at home and use batteries within recommended power levels. Always be mindful of specifications of your mod before purchasing at these always come in different sizes and variations.
Airflow — Getting the perfect amount of air flowing through your mod is key to keeping vapour production consistent without thinning out the clouds.
Coil Builds — The general rule to building coils for competitions is to make the resistance as low as possible. This results in thick clouds. A guarantee to impress the judges.
Wicking — How air and vape juice flow through your device is dictated by how well you wick your coils. Because of how hot it gets producing big clouds, wicking is even more important in competitive cloud-chasing.
E-liquids — While the PG and VG ratio for casual vaping tends to be more balanced, e-liquids need to be way more VG-concentrated to turn into voluminous clouds that win competitions. Here are a hand-selected bunch that will do a good job.
Inhalation/Exhalation — The usual method of inhaling vapour mouth-to-lung won’t cut it for competitive cloud chasing. To minimise vapour dissipation, you need to adapt the direct-to-lung inhalation technique. Proper posture and measured exhalation are also practised by the pros. Read all about getting the perfect hit here.
Much like entering any kind of competitive field, you will also need to get some practice in before you sign up for vaping contests.
Follow basic vaping etiquette and don’t try to chase clouds out in public. As much as we love vaping, unfortunately not everyone does. Many people may not appreciate the relatively tiny puffs of vapour and the aroma from casual vapers.
What Vaping Competitions are all about
There are two types of vaping competitions: cloud competitions and vape trick competitions.
1. Cloud Competitions
Have you ever blown a really big cloud and were really proud of it. These are basically what cloud competitions are. The clouds are generally judged by length, density, and cleanliness.
This is how it works. In a typical cloud competition, two competitors are stood back-to-back with a scale behind them so judges can easily compare the sizes of the two clouds blown. The competitors need to blow a cloud in a straight line with no excess vapour being exhaled to the side. The one who blows the bigger cloud moves on, while the other gets eliminated from the vaping competitions.
Because vapour production is mostly affected by the device build and the e-liquid used, contest organisers enforce restrictions on what contestants can use to ensure fairness. These vary from event to event, but you can expect limits on maximum wattage and minimum resistance. Every competitor uses the same e-liquid provided by the event runners to remove variables from that part of the competition.
One major equalizer in regulated cloud competitions is having contestants build their coils 10 to 20 minutes right before the competition starts while using the same set of limited parts. This way, nobody gets an advantage from having all the time to make a super-optimised build. Our advice to you, get building.
2. Vape Trick Competitions
This is as simple as it sounds … the clue is in the title. In vape trick competitions, competitors are primarily judged for their creativity.
These events are more free-form in nature relative to cloud competitions, as there are no objective points to measure performance. Competitors are just given a set amount of time, which could be a minute or two, to perform as many vape tricks as possible. Showcasing a variety of cool tricks is preferred over doing only a handful numerous times even when done well. Of course, entrants are still expected to have technical proficiency in the form of cloud consistency and cleanliness… unfortunately, blowing clouds and making them disappear isn’t classed as a trick.
Showmanship is central to vape trick competitions, as entertaining the judges makes a huge impact on a competitor’s score. Part of this is being able to chain multiple tricks together in a seamless, stylish way. Adding variety to vape trick combos also ensures a contestant stands out from the usual routine.
Because creativity is the most important criteria in judging vape trick competitions, competitors aren’t restricted in what kind of equipment they can use.
Aim for the highest wattage — You want to be using as much power as you safely can to ensure the consistent production of big, thick clouds. With regulated competitions, you shouldn’t be afraid to get as close as possible to the maximum wattage with the device you’ve built to stay competitive.
Make use of temperature control when possible — Mods with a temperature control feature are perfect for preventing overheating, especially when you’re using up a lot of power. When you keep your wick from drying up too fast, your clouds will maintain the consistency that’s crucial to scoring well.
Pack quality wicking material tightly — When you use a wicking material like firebolt cotton, make sure it’s pressing up on the insides of your coil when you insert it. Use a piece that’s a bit thicker than your coil and fluff it before inserting.
While these are the major destinations for competitive vaping glory, there’s no shame in starting local when you’re just a beginner. Contact us to ask about vape meets that run competitions. Don’t be shy about joining a community that is as enthusiastic as you are about the intense world of vaping competitions.