Cloud-Chasing 102: A Comprehensive Guide to Comp-Winning Clouds

Posted by Mitch Clarke on 28th Nov 2016

So you wanna cloud-chase. Well, join the club. We meet on Wednesdays, letterman jackets are available for purchase, and club dues are due on the 21st of each month.

All kidding aside, cloud-chasers are a sub-culture within a sub-culture, and as vaping grows in popularity, cloud-chasing is becoming increasingly prevalent, with more and more vapers making the jump from lackluster poofs to chuckin’ clouds that are so big, they make the weatherman look bad. We’ve all had the same starting inspiration: as you watched huge clouds being thrown around your local vape shop or on the internet, you quietly and forcefully said to yourself, “…I wanna do that.” But how do you take that next step? Despite the seemingly intimidating process, I think you’ll find that becoming a cloud-chaser is incredibly easy. All it takes is a little skill and a whole lot of preparation.


Cloud chasing is only for experienced vapers only! The terms, techniques, and technology covered in this guide will be best understood by users with an in-depth knowledge of vaping. If you’re new to the world of vaping, we appreciate the enthusiasm, but you should spend your first few weeks becoming more familiar with vaping as a whole – Youtube is a great resource for this, as well as ECR/ECF, the Steam Engine calculator, and our own handy Essential Vaping Glossary as well as the helpful Battery Safety Guide. That said, any persons following this guide do so at their own risk. We’ll give you all the safety tips we can think of, but in the end, your safety is entirely the result of your actions – we can’t be held responsible for any unfortunate events that may occur from a lack of safety, preparation, or knowledge on the part of the user.

The Safety

Any reputable cloud chaser will tell you time and again: “Safety comes first.” Just like how a surgeon meticulously washes their hands and wears full surgical scrubs, cloud chasers need to take precautions to ensure that the worst can’t happen. To do that, every prospective cloud-chaser needs to be exceptionally familiar with their equipment. This means becoming exceedingly familiar with the true continuous drain rating (CDR) of your batteries, testing each and every one of their builds, knowing how low of a resistance is too low for their batteries, and how to properly inspect their entire setup before putting it to use.

The Gear

Contrary to longstanding belief, expensive gear doesn’t necessarily mean great performance, just how inexpensive gear doesn’t mean subpar performance. What truly matters is getting dense vapor from your setup however you can. By carefully weighing the benefits and features of various devices, you can assemble a vaping setup in which the performance styles of the batteries, atomizer, build, and mod perfectly complement each other.


Batteries are THE most important aspect of your setup. Not only will the quality of your battery impact how well your setup performs, it’s also one of the only user-decided choices that directly correlates with the safety of the setup. The first thing you should do whenever you’re installing batteries is to carefully inspect your cells for any imperfections. Do NOT use your battery if:

  • It has any sort of rust or corrosion
  • If the wrap has started peeling, cracking, or has otherwise been damaged (even if it’s just small nick)
  • It is bulging at any part
  • It is giving off an odor
  • It feels extremely hot to the touch (a little warmth after use is to be expected, but if it’s too hot to touch, it’s a goner)
  • The insulator in the positive pole is damaged
  • Anything doesn’t look, smell, or seem right (trust your instincts)

If your battery has any of those symptoms, your safest next move would be to replace the cell entirely and dispose of it properly – most vape shops will happily take your old batteries off your hands in order to throw them away using the proper channels. If the only problem is a damaged wrap, replacement battery wraps can be purchased and applied with relative ease, but for now, your safest bet would be to wrap the offending cell in a paper towel or plastic bag and set it aside until the new wrap arrives.

For the quick-burst high-drain applications for which cloud-chasers use their batteries, the best choice would be batteries with a CDR greater than 25A. This requirement will disqualify a good number of ≥1500mAh batteries, as a high mAh capacity usually means a low CDR, and vice versa. To find the best choice in batteries, it’s a good idea to refer to Mooch, an independent member of the vaping community who regularly tests batteries for their true CDR and publishes the results on his blog in the form of very helpful charts and graphs. Because battery manufacturers test the performance specs of their batteries using conflicting methodology, Mooch provides a standard of testing for a market lacking the necessary regulation.

Realizing when your batteries need to be recharged is also an important aspect to proper battery care. But if you're not using a regulated mod with a convenient battery life indicator, how do you know exactly when to replace your battery? Short answer: you don’t—all you can do is make your best guess. Thankfully, batteries tend to make this guesswork pretty easy. When you find that your once-popping build is now giving a dull sizzle, it’s probably time to throw these batteries in the charger and insert a fresh set. 

However, keep in mind that you should never discharge your batteries until they’re completely dead. Unlike a regulated mod that automatically turns off once the battery falls below a certain voltage, the mechanical and unregulated mods used by cloud-chasers will continue to function past this safety point until the battery reaches the point of no return, about 2.4V—once it reaches that low of a voltage, it can prove difficult to restore the now dead cell, and even if you do, damage to the battery’s capacity and overall lifespan is almost certain.


LG 18650 HB6 1500mAh

These highly rated 32A batteries are THE cells that will push your competition build further than ever before. As one of the highest rated batteries available, these batteries perform exceedingly well under strain with very little voltage drop, making them perfect for nudging those last few competition-winning wattage points out of your perfected build.

Samsung 18650 30Q 3000mAh

For those days of casual cloudage, these cells are a great choice for vaping on mid-ohm builds and have a huge capacity that is sure to last all day, if not even longer. Rated at 20A, these cells perform as well as 25Rs and last even longer than HG2s for satisfying performance whenever the desire to change the weather arises.

iJoy 26650 INR 4200mAh

For those big mods requiring equally large 26650 batteries, the iJoy 26650s are an exceedingly good choice. Given a true 30A CDR, an extreme rarity for 26650 batteries, these high-performance batteries can be hard to find in stock—and when they are, they can be absurdly expensive—but a pair of these batteries do come included with the Limitless LUX Box MOD By LMC & iJoy, a fantastic device in its own right that gives you more bang for your buck.


Because unregulated mods don’t feature any kind of USB charging (not that it should be relied on heavily anyway), choosing the proper external charger for your batteries is exceedingly important for maintaining healthy cells that perform at peak levels throughout the entirety of their lifespan. Both Nitecore and Efest make excellent and highly reputable chargers that accommodate a wide number and variety of battery cell sizes; some can even adjust the charging rates of the cells to better suit your needs.


Nitecore SC2 Battery Charger

Lauded as the Ferrari of battery chargers, the Nitecore SC2 is an extremely versatile 2-bay charger capable of charging your cells at up to 3A, which can cut the charging time for high-drain low capacity cells down to less than an hour, leaving you with more time to get back to what matters: vaping!

Efest LUC Blu6 Bluetooth Intelligent 6-Bay Charger

This fantastic charger holds up to 6 cells in its slots and can provide up to 2A to two cells at a time. In addition, any information about your charging cells such as charging rate and current charge level can be accessed and adjusted through any Bluetooth-enabled phone by using Efest’s phone app (available in both the Google Play store and Apple store).

Ohm Meter

Resistance meters are just as important as the device you’re using, if not more so. Because cloud-chasers use primarily unregulated devices, we don’t have the luxury of having an ohm meter built into our mod, so we must rely on an external ohm meter to give an accurate measure of the resistance (and by extension, safety) of our builds. Although, even if you’re using the ohm meter of the regulated device you’ll be regularly vaping on, it’s not a bad idea to give your build a quick test on an external meter. Think about it: if the regulated device should read your build as a resistance higher than it really is, it’ll push the additional volts necessary to bring it to the set wattage, which might be too much for the coils and batteries you have installed. In addition, always test your builds after every single tweak, just in case you accidentally left a coil touching the positive post or the top cap will be touching your build. It never hurts to be extra careful.


Coil Master 521 Tab Ohm Meter

An excellent companion to your cloud-chasing gear, the 521 Tab is an extremely versatile piece of hardware. A perfectly capable ohm reader in its own right that can read all the way down to 0.01Ω, this device can also fire your attached atomizer, allowing you to heat, squeeze, fiddle with your coils before installing it on your mod. The 521 Tab is also a fully functional voltage meter that can tell you the exact voltage level of your mechanical mod and any battery cells.


Mechanical mods are simplistic electrical engineering at its finest. Electricity leaves the cell, runs through the coil, and comes back to the cell, super simple. Mech mods often come with a floating or spring-loaded positive pin that transfers electricity from the battery to the atomizer, but some have a 510 connection lacking any sort of positive pin, instead directly connecting the positive pole of the battery to the positive pin of the atomizer—this type of connection is referred to a hybrid connection.

Of course, mechanical mods also have a degree of danger: what if the electricity, for whatever reason, skips the coils and just runs straight back to the cell? A hard short, that’s what, which quickly leads to venting, thermal runaway, and other nasty things, and no one wants that. That’s why we always make sure our batteries are pristinely maintained, our atomizers are carefully chosen, and our builds are perfectly tested. Right? Quite right.

Single Cell Mech

As I’m sure you’ve heard before, single cell mechanical mods are a great choice for cloud-chasing – for a time, they were the only choice. If you wanted anything near 150W, you’d need a mech mod and an (uncomfortably) low resistance build. These mechs originally became popular because of their high degree of customizability and reliance on the skill of the vaper to get satisfactory performance, and remain popular in cloud competitions for these exact reasons. One factor that comes into play that doesn’t affect regulated mods, however, is the build material: better conducting materials lead to better performance. For example, a solid copper mech will typically perform much better than a stainless steel mech—in fact, building lower than 0.3Ω on a SS mech can lead to a “hot button”, in which electrical arcing noticeably heats the firing switch because the internal resistance of the mod is higher than the build itself. Mech maintenance is important as well  clean threads lead to a lower internal resistance, which means a lowered voltage drop and more power being provided to the attached atomizer.


Legendary Subzero Competition Mechanical MOD

One of the hardest hitting single cell mechs available, the Legendary mod is nothing but: utilizing a proprietary switch that’s extremely conductive and easy to throw, the Legendary is constructed entirely out of solid C145 copper and uses silver-plated copper contacts in the battery and 510 connections for an imperceptibly low voltage drop.

VCM2 Mechanical MOD by Vaperz Cloud

The VCM2 mech from Vaperz Cloud is a great choice for prospective cloud-chasers, This single cell mech is made from solid copper and uses Vaperz Cloud’s proprietary VC Tech firing switch alongside silver-plated contacts for unprecedented conductivity. The VCM2 also comes with both a floating pin and hybrid-type 510 connection for a wide range of possibilities.

SMPL Mechanical MOD Clone by A-MOD

For penny-pinching cloud-chasers seeking a low cost mechanical mod, there’s no better choice than the SMPL clone by A-MOD. Constructed using a single solid piece of copper, this mech has no voltage-dropping threads to maintain and uses a hybrid 510 connection for fantastic conductivity.

Parallel Mech

Parallel mechs utilize two or more battery cells; each battery provides a fraction of the output, evenly distributing the amp load and multiplying the CDR by the number of cells in the circuit. This makes them perfect for those super-sub-ohm builds too low for single cell mechs, with the additional benefit of multiplying the battery life by the number of cells wired together.


Cherry Bomber Parallel Mechanical Box MOD Clone By Infinite

A low cost entry point into parallel mods, the Cherry Bomber clone by Infinite is entirely mechanical and can be disassembled for super simple cleaning and maintenance. It’s also available with a wooden or aluminum alloy body, but both have a super clean appearance that complements most, if not all, attached atomizers.

Series Mech

Series mechs are powered similarly to parallel mechs, in that they both use multiple cells in the circuit, but series mechs wire these cells from end to end, multiplying the voltage output while retaining the same CDR and mAh capacity. This introduces an additional factor in cell instability, as increased voltage means more amps being drawn from the unchanged source, but with the proper knowledge and precautions, series mechs can be extremely useful, especially when using big, higher resistance builds that would take too long for single cell mechs to heat.


Ohmega 26650 Stacked V2 Mechanical MOD

Constructed out of solid copper for superior conductivity, this tube-style mech mod accepts two 18650 batteries placed in the device end-to-end to double the voltage output to 8.4V, a fantastic choice for bulky builds that take a long time to heat with just 4.2V.

26650 VCP "Big Pig" Series Mechanical Box Mod By Vaperz Cloud

For those who don’t want to carry around a very large tube mech, but still want amazing performance from their everyday device, the 26650 VCP from Vaperz Cloud is a great series mech mod that utilizes copper contacts for outstanding performance and can also accept 18650 batteries by using the included battery sleeves.

Regulated Mods

Don’t shake a stick at those regulated mods just yet. Sure, their wattage caps can be restricting for low-ohm builders, but a slight adjustment in building techniques alongside the right mod can produce clouds you could never get from even a series or parallel mech. When using humongous cloud-chuckin' builds, what really matters is the voltage output. For example, if you’re used to building 0.1Ω coils, try a higher resistance like 0.5Ω, but put it on a regulated mod capable of hitting high voltages. A 0.5Ω coil at 11V is 242W and only 22A, as opposed to a 0.1Ω coil’s 49A draw at the same wattage. Of course, you'll most likely need a mod with many battery cells in order to reach higher voltages—voltage-boosting chips exist, however inefficient they may be—but installing gigantic coils producing proportionately large plumes of vapor without any of the drawbacks associated with super sub-ohm builds is so worth it.


Smok Koopor Primus 300W TC Box MOD

Capable of pushing up to 12V to your attached atomizer, this mod is a great choice for cloud-chasers who want to avoid the hassle of series mods while also getting the superb battery life of three 18650 batteries.

Reuleaux RX200S Box MOD By Wismec & Jay Bo

Another triple 18650 regulated mod, the Reuleaux is an extremely popular device, and for good reason: this device gets exceptional battery life and can provide up to 9V of power to your build, a great choice for on-the-go cloud-chasers.


Ah, good ol’ drippers. Despite the leaking, constant dripping, and occasional life-shattering dry hit, we love the exceptional flavor and simply unbeatable vapor production from these bad boys -- so much so, I decided to ignore RTAs/RDTAs for now: while they are starting to match drippers in airflow and ease of use, your best (and easiest) chance for huge clouds is with an RDA. But what exactly goes into choosing the perfect cloud-chasing RDA?


Because a huge part of your cloud is just hot air, you should pick an RDA with a proportional amount of airflow. Generally, more airflow means more clouds, but you can also be strategic with your choice. Sure, an RDA like the Buddha is great for humongous builds that demand sufficient airflow to match the vapor output, but for smaller builds, an RDA with tighter, more focused airflow can better condense vapor in the chamber for thick, dense clouds rivalling those of even the biggest coils. While one source of side-feed airflow is standard in most RDAs, bottom- and top-feed sources of airflow complementing the side-feed airflow can be highly advantageous for coaxing additional vapor from your build.

Build Space

If you’ll be making big coils, you’ll want a build deck to match. Large diameter RDAs (25mm+) are a great choice for this. You’ll also want the build space to be relatively open and uncluttered, leaving room for vapor to expand freely.


For cloud-chasing, you’ll want an RDA that fits at least two coils; of course, this can mean almost any RDA, as two posts will usually fit dual coils without an issue. Three post or T-post RDAs are nice for quad coils or super easy dual coils, but Velocity-style posts are even better, as they free up the center of the deck and promote healthy airflow. Large postholes can be a godsend, but when your post holes just aren’t cutting it, you can use a drill to widen the opening -- just don't drill too wide! In addition, the recently introduced clamp-style posts of some RDAs are extremely useful for installing extremely thick wire builds such as fused quad claptons in your RDA.


An RDA’s conductivity is often neglected, but can make or break a good build. Usually, RDAs are made entirely of stainless steel, and there’s not much you can do about that. Some forward thinking RDAs, however, come with copper center posts, milled negative posts, and even gold-plated decks for exceptional performance.

However, an extremely important aspect to take into account when choosing an RDA is carefully inspecting the 510 positive pin: if you are using a mechanical mod with a hybrid-type 510 connection that directly connects the battery to the atomizer, it is absolutely imperative that the positive pin of the atomizer protrudes well beyond (≥1.25mm) the 510 threading and cannot be pushed back into the threading. Otherwise, if the 510 threading should touch the battery, it will prematurely complete the circuit, resulting in a hard short and a very, very bad time. I’ll repeat this because it’s pretty important: don’t use atomizers lacking a protruding positive pin with hybrid connections.


High VG, low nicotine. That’s all that really comes into play. High VG for the smooth, rich clouds, and the low nicotine to take into account the increased vapor production (so you don’t throw up halfway through a competition – yes, it’s happened). Beyond that, just pick your favorite flavor and vape away.


Buddha Z V3 RDA By Vaperz Cloud (25mm/30mm)

The Buddha Z V3 RDA is an impressively sized dripper made to accommodate large and bulky builds while supporting them with massive airflow. This iteration of the Buddha utilizes two distinct sources of airflow, the first coming from the signature Buddha 42 hole side-feed airflow, the second from two adjustable cyclops slots that provide additional top-feed airflow to your build. The 25mm version of this RDA also comes with a completely gold-plated deck, which includes the posts and 510 threading, garnering unreal performance from this device.

Goldie RDA By Beast Mode Industries

The Goldie RDA by BMI was designed to be an extremely heavy duty piece of hardware that makes the most out of any build installed. Constructed entirely out of solid brass for much better conductivity than traditional stainless steel, the deck, posts, and 510 threading are also gold-plated for an extremely low voltage drop and the massive postholes in the T-post positive and milled negative posts fit almost any kind of wire.

Obese Buddha RDA (LE) By Vaperz Cloud

Another piece of hardware from Vaperz Cloud’s acclaimed Buddha series, the Obese Buddha is a 30mm RDA designed to provide more than enough space and airflow to even the most bulky and cumbersome of builds. Utilizing clamp-style posts, you can fit literally any type or size of wire in this RDA with extreme ease. This limited edition version of the Obese Buddha also completely coats the RDA in a layer of 24k gold for superb conductivity.

The Builds

Now that we've taken all the necessary care and precautions to ensure a safe setup, it's time for the fun part: building! This is where you can let loose or do things entirely by the book, it's up to you and your imagination. But if you want to start making builds to rival heavy duty fog machines, you don't want to just start building blindly: how can you optimize your build and building techniques to push even more clouds from your setup?

Fast Ramp-Up

Your build won’t be any good in a cloud competition if it takes more than five seconds to ramp up. How can you avoid an awkward wait while your opponent blows a huge cloud in your face? Chances are, you’ve been using just Kanthal for your coils when there are a wide variety of materials available that will turn your bubbling build into a popping cloud-chucking machine. For example, nichrome (NiCr) is an extremely popular heating element for instantaneous firing response times. While it has a lower resistance than Kanthal which needs to be taken into account, it can be combined with Kanthal for a full-bodied performance. Another such material is stainless steel (SS), which can be used in both VW and TC modes, for those full-time cloud-chasers, part-time flavor-fiends.

Strategic Placement

This is one of the most important aspects of a good cloud-chasing build, but often the most neglected. It’s key that your build is not only unfettered and free to produce vapor from all sides, but also perfectly lined up with your airflow to maximize your vapor output. For optimum production, your airflow should squarely hit the face of your coils, or if anything, just slightly underneath to help scoop vapor upwards.

Large ID

Although they may seem intimidating to the novice vaper, large inner coil diameters are essential for high-powered coils and for obvious reasons: a small diameter means slow wicking that probably won’t withstand more than a draw or two before producing a nasty dry hit, despite appearing drenched in liquid. Staying above 4mm in diameter is a good range for builds that be chain-vaped to your heart’s desire. Besides, huge coils just look awesome.


When it comes to wicking, nothing comes close to being as instrumental for guaranteeing a build that can be chain-vaped while retaining thoroughly the pure and untouched flavor you've come to expect.  You can get as in-depth and detailed as you'd like, though at the end of the day, all that matters is finding the right balance of tension and looseness when installing wicks in your builds. When you insert it, it should give enough resistance that it's somewhat difficult to get through without twisting, but just loose enough as to not move the coil as you pull the wick through. 

There are many different types of wicking materials used in RBAs, but the most popular nowadays is rayon and, of course, organic cotton. Cotton needs no introduction, we've all grown familiar to the superb taste of this excellent material. The other, a synthetically derived cellulose material, is a far less common material, but remains just as ideal for RBAs, if not more so. I've personally used rayon since I started rebuilding in 2013 and I find that the taste is a little bit more pure than cotton, especially right after rewicking a fresh build. The higher flash point of rayon also helps prevent needless charring in both VW and TC modes. But the excessive prevalence of cotton makes such a minute difference between the two essentially negligible. Keep in mind when wicking with these two materials, however, that cotton expands when wet and rayon shrinks, so make sure to adjust your wicking technique to accommodate these characteristics.

Keeping your wicks neat and tidy is also an underrated aspect of getting maximum vapor production out of your build. Remember what we covered, to allow as much vapor as possible to be expelled at any one time, a good cloud-chasing build is open on all sides and not touching anything that might prevent vapor from escaping freely. So, that jumbled bunch of cotton stuffed behind your coil isn’t doing you any favors – good wicking has short ends tucked neatly underneath the coil and pressed downwards slightly, leaving empty space underneath and behind the coil for vapor to gather before getting scooped upwards.

Types of Builds

This is where your creativity as a rebuilder comes into play. While some vapers say the type of build doesn’t necessarily make the cloud-chaser, it does definitely come into play. Simple macro coils used to be the standard, and many cloud-chasers have found success with this type of build, but there’s plenty of very easy builds that can maximize the features of your RDA. For example, parallel coils can easily boost your clouds to new heights, as they essentially multiply the number of coils you have installed while still allowing for large dual coils that take up the entire chamber. 

While builds such as parallel coils are relatively simple to build, more complex and difficult builds such as clapton coils and hive coils are also a great choice, as they have a greater surface area than standard macro coils and allow an increased amount of juice to be vaporized at any given time. Of course, all types of wire can be mixed and matched, or even combined to create entirely new types of wire – the only deciding factor is the breadth of your imagination. But if you don’t feel up to digging your drill out of your garage and dedicating a few hours to making about a foot of specialty wire, there are plenty of options for prebuilt premium coils that are oftentimes more pristine and cleanly made than any handmade coil. 

The number of coils helps as well. I’d suggest using at least two coils in your cloud-chasing build, but when installing any more than that, there’s a trade-off: while the overall resistance of the build is lowered, the increased mass of the build requires a longer ramp-up time despite the now raised wattage. In addition, adding coils doesn’t necessarily give the proportional increase in vapor production as you might expect, in fact giving diminishing returns while increasing the difficulty of installation.


Hotwires By Chadster - Nuke (22 Gauge)

Hotwires has been in the game for a long, long time and has had the support of cloud-chasers for just as long. Using a proprietary alloy, this wire heats up extremely quickly and stays hotter than traditional Kanthal, making it a perfect choice for cloud-chasing builds.

Fused Clapton SS316 Wire Spool By GeekVape

Taking the hard work out of getting great performance from your build, this roll of premade fused clapton wire uses stainless steel as the heating element, providing not only instantaneous firing reactions, but also dual functionality in VW and TC mode and fantastic flavor no matter which mode you use.

GeekVape Staggered Fused Clapton KA1 / Ni80 Coil Pack

A great example of prebuilt high-performance coils that utilize a mix of materials for incredibly versatility, these staggered fused clapton coils made by GeekVape use both Kanthal and nichrome for a quick ramp-up and have a generous amount of surface area for thorough juice vaporization.

The Techniques

Now that we’ve covered all the things that into a great cloud-chasing setup, it’s time to talk about the last step: turning you into a proper cloud-chaser! Despite appearances, it takes more than just simply inhaling and exhaling to blow a fat cloud, but after reviewing these techniques, you’ll be hitting people with your huge clouds from across the room.


Exactly how to use inhalation to maximize the performance of your build is a touchy subject for many a cloud-chaser. Some believe wholeheartedly in the bend-over technique, prepping their lungs for a full inhale by forcefully and fully exhaling while bending over at the waist to better assist in the motion. Others (who know better) believe that bending over doesn’t matter, as long as you’re getting a proper lungful of vapor – a little bend is natural, but if you can touch your toes while doing so, you’re doing it very wrong.

Timing is also extremely important when aiming to catch your build when it’s producing vapor at peak levels: this means taking into account ramp-up times. When first firing your build, listen for the increasing popping and sizzling: is it an instantaneous reaction to pressing the firing switch, or does it take a few seconds to really get going? If it’s the latter, you’ll want to adjust your inhalation accordingly: if you inhale while the coil is still heating up, you’ll get a lungful of super thin vapor and that’s no good.

To maximize the dense vapor you’re inhaling, you have a few options. A popular choice is to exhale through the RDA while the coils are heating, ensuring you have empty lungs ready to be filled by the time the coils are at their peak temperature, but can be messed up if done too soon and you end up dying for breath by the time the coils are actually ready. Another choice is to give very light and quick inhale-exhales, which keeps the stagnant air relatively in one place and increases the chamber’s vapor density. Or, my personal favorite, just let the thing fire and inhale when it’s ready. In the end, it’s really up to you. And while it’s not necessary, inhaling past the release of the firing switch helps to cool down your hot coils and prevent a nasty charred taste from otherwise stagnant hot coils the next time you hit your mod.


The most important and most often neglected aspect of cloud-chasing is the exhale. A good exhale leaves a thick, dense cloud shooting across the room in one solid mass, lingering in the air before falling to the ground in a satisfying “poof”; a bad exhale will produce a long, but thin stream of vapor that vanishes after only a few seconds, or produces a cloud that’s thick and dense, but stays right at the vaper’s face. Bad exhales don’t take into account the vapor’s density or velocity. To get a good-looking cloud that really chucks across the room, the secret lies in aerodynamics: without getting into college-level details, air surrounding a solid stream of moving air will get sucked in and moved as well.

How do we apply this to a cloud? Well, begin with a good inhale of vapor. Now, open your mouth in a big “O” shape and blow the vapor out relatively slowly. When you’ve gone through about half of your lung capacity and built up a nice looking cloud in front of you, without interrupting the flow of vapor, slowly close down your mouth to a small “O” while blowing with increasing force. The result is a thick cloud that suddenly shoots forward from the center and pulls the rest of the cloud with it while retaining its density.

With a good build and inhale, the first time you exhale, you’ll cough, which is only natural. Trying to push out that much hot, dense vapor will make you feel like you’re drowning in the cloud – for the curious and anatomically inclined, that’s because vapor is condensing on your epiglottis – just focus on pushing it all out in a fluid motion. It really helps if you whisper “HAAAAAhhhhoooooo” as you do it. Trust me, you may feel like a silly dragon, but it works.

The Conclusion

So, there you have it. From battery safety to exhale technique, if you follow these steps (and keep a smart head about you), you'll be surprised how quickly you'll evolve into a full-fledged cloud-chaser.