Sub ohm vaping, also known as sub ohming, is a style of vaping that produces large clouds of vapor. Sub ohm devices utilize low resistance coils that are less than one ohm, hence the name sub ohm. They also provide enough airflow suitable for direct lung inhalation. Sub ohming typically requires vape mods capable of putting out a minimum of 40 watts, but the higher levels can reach and exceed 200 watts.
Around 2014, sub ohm tanks began to dominate the market. Sub ohm vaping became the default standard for most new vapers until around mid-2016 with MTL coming back in style. Now the market is more diverse, with a broader range of vapes for every style of vaping.
The term sub ohm has evolved over the years with the technology. It typically refers to direct lung devices with coils that are 0.5 ohms or lower. Today there are also sub ohm coils featured in certain pod vapes. They provide a similar experience to sub ohm tanks but typically utilize less power than a mod since they are smaller in size and battery capacity.
Learn more about sub ohm vaping and cloud chasing in the guide below.
Aside from just big clouds, there are many other advantages of sub ohming over other styles of vaping.
Cloud chasing is the act of blowing huge clouds with a vape. Cloud chasers are constantly trying to invent new ways to produce the biggest clouds of vapor. That means lower ohm coils, higher wattages and tons of airflow. Cloud chasing requires knowledge and experience in order to be done safely and properly, and it’s always a sub ohm vape.
But not all sub ohm vapers are necessarily cloud chasers. A sub ohm vape is the only way to achieve such voluminous cloud production. Cloud chasing has become more accessible today with the popularity of sub ohm vape tanks because it doesn’t require as much knowledge as before.
The easiest and safest way to start vaping and cloud chasing is to get a sub ohm vape pen. It comes with a tank and powerful battery all in one and is very easy to use, even for beginners. They make it very simple to get started right away, without having a ton of knowledge.
If you want something more advanced, the best combo for clouds is a high-wattage box mod paired with a rebuildable atomizer, preferably a dual-coil dripper. There are also rebuildable tanks that are geared for sub ohming and some great sub ohm tanks that don’t require a ton of experience to use. A lot of these modern subtanks utilize multiple mesh coils which allow for high wattages and rich dense clouds.
Use appropriate batteries: Shop for batteries with high amp ratings, suitable for high wattages.
Keep airflow all the way open: Most sub ohm devices come with adjustable airflow. Generally speaking, the airflow should be at its most open setting to achieve the biggest clouds for the atomizer you’re using.
Use max VG vape juice: While PG and VG both make vapor, the higher the content of VG in your juice will allow for the biggest clouds. Consider it high-octane fuel for your tank!
Use a mod with power above 40 watts: When sub ohming, you will want a lot of headroom for power. You likely won’t use it all, but being able to go up an additional 10 watts or so can make a big difference in your vapor volume.
Purging: A technique is used for cloud chasing and vape tricks where you exhale into the vape before inhaling. It forces air into the coils to prime them to produce bigger clouds. Make sure the airflow holes aren’t directed into your eyes or face before using this method.
Use a somewhat forceful and fast draw: Along with using unrestricted airflow, the speed and forecefulness of the drag will increase cloud production. A bigger and faster draw will also aid in keeping the coils cooler.
Use coils rated below 0.5 ohms: Low resistance coils that are 0.5 ohms and below can handle more wattage and generally produce bigger clouds.
Here are some videos they will show you how to build coils for some serious cloud production.
In part 2 of Rip Tripper’s Cloud Chasing 101 series, he teaches you how to do a simple cloud chasing build and goes into more depth about proper inhale/exhale technique.
In this video, Twisted Messes shows you how to do his signature 26 gauge twisted dual coil.
Sherlock Hohms shows you how to do a cloud chucking fused clapton for cloud chasing.
Originally, cloud chasing was done almost exclusively with low-ohm coils on a mech mod. Eventually builders realized they could use two strands of wire to create an ultra-low resistance coil, with tons of surface area, which eventually gave way to twisted and parallel dual coil builds.
Cloud chasing has advanced with the popularity of powerful regulated mods and exotic coils. Cloud chasers no longer need to build to the specifications of their device and batteries. Now they can just chuck big, beefy coils on any regulated high wattage mod, giving them more freedom than ever before.
Dual coils are standard for clouds but many vapers have taken that to the next level with triple and even quadruple coil configurations. This cuts the resistance down and greatly increases surface area. Fused claptons, aliens and other exotic builds are also very popular these days for cloud chasing.
In competitive vaping cloud chasers compete with each other to see who can create the biggest clouds and pull off the best vape tricks. Just like any hobby or sport, some people are going to be competitive, so cloud chasing is no exception. Competitions are held all over the world for cash prizes and endorsement deals. The US is home of many of the bigger cloud comps like the VC Cloud Chasing Competition, with the prizes ranging from custom gear and sponsorships, to thousands of dollars in cash.
Competitive vaping started as a way for vapers to express themselves and spread awareness about vaping. These days, it’s rampant in nearly every major city. Professional vapers gain fans, money and sponsorship deals through these meet-ups at local shops and vape conventions. Social media sites like Facebook and YouTube have played an instrumental role in the popularization of competitive vaping.
Public spaces are not meant for cloud blowing unless there’s reason to believe it won’t cause a problem. For example, at an outdoor concert with a tolerant audience. In general, most non-vapers don’t understand what the vapor is or isn’t, so it’s advisable to not literally put it in their faces.
These days, cloud comps aren’t as rampant as they once were, especially with many coronavirus restrictions still in place. However, in their prime, cloud competitions turned a lot of heads, and made people aware of vaping as an alternative to smoking. Whether you’re in it for the big clouds, flavor or just the nicotine, we’re all about the vape.