Defining a vaper and vaping stereotypes
What is a vaper? A vaper is simply someone that vapes. They come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, and more. No matter how diverse and varied the vaping community is, there are several vaping stereotypes that are at least a little bit true. The following is a look at 10 kinds of stereotypical vapers. Chances are, you know someone that falls into one of these categories. If you regularly hang out at vape shops or attend vape meets, then you probably know several people that live up to these stereotypes. It’s entirely possible that you are one of these kinds of vapers yourself.
Please keep in mind that this hard-hitting exposé isn’t a dig at any vaper. It’s a fun article that’s meant to point out the ways some vapers behave and the things that some vapers do. It’s not an attack on anyone, but a celebration of wonderful idiosyncrasies. If you happen to fall into one of the categories below, my advice is to embrace it and be true to yourself. Now let’s meet 10 stereotypical vapers!
This article has been updated with five more vaper stereotypes! The new additions are the flavor aficionado, angry vape clerk, vape mooch, vape perfectionist, and vape trickster.
The cloud bro
A stereotypical vaper that’s almost always sporting a black t-shirt from a vaping company, the cloud bro is all about vapor production. Flavor and nicotine are things that they sometimes enjoy, as long as they don’t get in the way of generating voluminous vapor. The cloud bro loves low-resistance coils and high-wattage mods. Any vaping device that doesn’t produce at least 100 watts is considered a toy to this vaper.
The competitive cloud bro is, to use a Pokemon term, an evolved form. While they may use regulated box mods every now and again, their serious vaping is done on a mechanical mod. These vapers never use stainless steel tube mods, due to their relatively poor conductivity, favoring mechs made from naval brass and tellurium copper. You can often spot competitive cloud bros in cloud comps at a vape shop or a vape expo.
The flavor aficionado
This vaper waxes eloquently about an e-liquid’s low notes, mid notes, and top notes…whether they’re present or not. They can tell you the exact PG and VG percentage of a vape juice — down to tenths of a percent — from just a few inhales. It’s common to see flavor aficionados drop a bit of e-liquid on their hand for a quick taste test. They claim to be able to tell the difference between “gourmet” e-liquid and mass-market e-liquid in a blind taste test.
While flavor aficionados can enjoy clouds, vapor production is a tertiary concern. Some of them are fine with giant clouds accompanying big flavor, while others see it as a silly. When flavor aficionados and cloud bros are in the same room, things are usually peaceful. Occasionally, an aggressive cloud bro will attempt to bully a flavor aficionado, but the latter will try to avoid conflict, self-satisfied with the “fact” that they enjoy a more sophisticated form of vaping. (I saw this on a National Geographic documentary.)
The tricky part is determining whether a flavor aficionado is the real deal or not. Some vapers do indeed have enlightened tastebuds that can detect layers and nuances in e-liquid. Some just like to use big words and ornate descriptions so it seems like they have a deeper understanding of flavor. A similar issue has plagued the wine community for centuries.
The vape Smurfette
If you’re a regular at a vape shop or have attended several vape expos then you’ve notice that the male-to-female ratio is…abnormal. While the world has a roughly even split of men and women, the same cannot be said for the vaping world. It’s a sausage fest. So when a female vaping enthusiast enters the room, she might as well be queen.
There are pros and cons to being a vape Smurfette. On the plus side, these vapers are fawned on by all heterosexual vaping males (vape Smurfette > relationship status). They have their pick of the litter. They often get free hardware and e-liquids, simply due to their chromosomic makeup. In many cases, it’s good to be queen.
On the other hand, vape Smurfettes are often unfairly judged. Some lesser-evolved male vapers refuse to see them as “real” vapers (whatever that means). If they see a woman building coils, their irrational machismo will make them assume that she sucks at building. It’s an issue that has haunted women that are part of other male-dominated communities, like comics and videogames. While there can be many advantages for a vape Smurfette, sometimes life can be challenging for this stereotypical vaper.
[Special thanks to Shy Kane for the photos.]
The angry vape clerk
These vapers love vaping and love working at a vape shop. They’re just not keen on their customers. It’s similar to the attitude Randall from Clerks possessed (link contains profanity). To paraphrase and translate it to the vaping world, the angry vape clerk often thinks, “Working in this vape shop would be great if it wasn’t for the frickin’ customers.”
While the majority of vape shop clerks I’ve encountered are friendly and useful, the angry vape clerk’s behavior is unforgettable. They scoff at customers that don’t know the difference in production between a 0.2-ohm coil and a 0.5-ohm coil. They sigh with impenitent disdain when a customer asks them for an e-liquid flavor they consider inferior. It’s common to see them stare at patrons as if they were idiots when asked a basic question about vaping. The angry vape clerk believes in a ruling class…but only if they rule the store.
The vape mooch
A very enthusiastic vaper, the vape mooch is especially enthusiastic about getting vaping products for free. They will ask vape shops for any samples they don’t want. They will go from booth to booth at vape conventions asking, “What do you have for free?” They’ll go to vape meets that give away free samples, simply because there are free samples (community building what?!?). One of the slickest vape-mooch tactics I’ve seen is when one asks for additional freebies for their brother, who couldn’t make the event due to sickness. This one vape mooch I’ve seen has a brother that’s been sick for four years.
The vape mooch and the angry vape clerk are archenemies. They’re forever locked into a circle of mental and emotional combat. The vape mooch will constantly try to chip away at the vape clerk for a free coil or a free milliliter of e-liquid. The angry vape clerk hatefully tolerates the presence of the vape mooch and does everything in their power to get them out of the shop quickly. This usually ends after the vape mooch has loitered in the shop for hours, purchased nothing, and gotten some small freebie. Some will question whether this is a valuable use of time, but for the vape mooch it’s an unequivocal victory.
The mod snob
Aficionados and purveyors of vape gear, mod snobs generally hate vaping products that come from China. Some go as far to illogically dismiss fine vaping devices made in their own country, simply because domestic products aren’t exotic. While they’re proud of the vaping products they own and look down on inexpensive gear, these vapers are generally harmless. They’re happy to show off their latest and greatest, while giving your beater mod a look that’s the equivalent of a pat to a child’s head.
Mod snobs generally fall into two categories. One values rarity and exclusivity. These vapers will spend hundreds — sometimes thousands — of dollars to attain limited-edition products. They squeal with delight whenever a famous mod maker announces a small run of mods. This type of mod snob loves being one of the first people in the world to own a bespoke mod…only to flip it a month or two later so that they can fund their next exotic purchase.
Then there’s the performance junkie. This type of mod snob has an encyclopedic knowledge of voltage drop. Whether it’s from keen senses or pure bluster, they claim to be able to tell the difference between a mechanical mod with a 0.09 drop and one with a 0.14 drop. They want the best-performing mods money can buy. Aesthetics and functionality are secondary concerns to these vapers.
The juice hoarder
You’ll know this stereotypical vaper the second you walk into his or her house. There are bottles of vaping e-liquid everywhere. You’ll find e-liquid in the living room, dining room, kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms. If this person is building an extension to their house, chances are there’s e-liquid in the uncompleted room.
The interesting thing about juice hoarders is that most of them don’t care whether or not they like all the e-liquids they collect. These vapers happily attain and retain any bottles that they can get there hands on. It doesn’t matter what flavor or nicotine level the vaping e-liquid happens to be. The juice hoarder must have it!
The vape perfectionist
A sadly tragic vaper, the vape perfectionist is always looking for the perfect mod or the perfect e-liquid. Deep down inside, they know that there’s no such thing as perfect, but something in their soul compels them to seek vaping perfection. In some ways, the never-ending pursuit is beautiful…
…but in some ways, it’s annoying. The vape perfectionist will find everything that’s wrong with a vaping device or vape juice. More often than not, they’ll tell you everything that’s wrong with a vaping device or vape juice you’re enjoying, whether you asked for their critique or not. With the ability and unquenchable need to drop volumes of criticism on every vaping product that ever existed, some people wonder if vape perfectionists even like vaping. It’s almost as if they’re incapable of enjoying it.
What they do enjoy is the pursuit of perfection. Sadly, they’ll never find it. Hephaestus could forge the most brilliant mechanical mod ever created and Jony Ive could design the most insanely great box mod ever imagined, and the vape perfectionist would still find a flaw (or 12) that would break their heart.
The stealth vape ninja
This stereotypical vaper can be highly entertaining or annoyingly obnoxious — sometimes both at the same time. The stealth vape ninja loves to vape anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes it’s out of nicotine addiction, but sometimes it’s just to prove a point. They’ll vape in places where they’re not supposed to — restaurants, airports, airplanes, department stores, etc. — and almost always go unnoticed.
Sometimes they’ll push the envelope, just to see if they can get away with it. Legend has it that the Hattori Hanzo of stealth vape ninja was puffing away in a confessional at a Roman Catholic church!
The vape trickster
On the most basic level, tricksters are vapers that are passionate about vape tricks. Most of them fall into two categories. The “pop star” vape trickster lives to entertain the vaping community. They’re performers that get a charge from the reaction they get from executing a brilliant jellyfish. Like Lady Gaga, they live for the applause.
Then there’s the solitary version of the vape trickster. First and foremost, this vaper performs tricks for his or her satisfaction. They want to achieve the best tricks possible as a personal challenge. Garnering cheers and winning trick contests are meaningless to them. It’s all about the relentless pursuit of excellence.
No matter which type of vape trickster you encounter, you’ll see them engage in common behavior. They constantly practice, whether it’s during an appropriate situation or not. If you’re trying to have a deep and meaningful conversation with a vape trickster then you shouldn’t be surprised if they randomly start to blow O-rings or create vapor tornados. They’re listening to you, but the thought popped into their head to blow as many O-rings in 30 seconds as possible or to create a tornado that’s at least two-meters high. As with most types of artists, rational thought and behavior sometimes fly out the window.
Stereotypical vapers and you
Do you happen know anyone that falls into these 10 categories of stereotypical vapers? If so, how many of these categories match up with people in your circle of vape friends? Do you happen to be one of these vaping stereotypes? Please share your findings and/or confessions in the comments section (no judging). The information will be used for…uhm…vape science.