What is Sub-Ohm Vaping?
Wednesday, 4 May 2016 | Admin
Ohm - isn’t that the mystic syllable uttered during meditation? What’s sub-ohm then, some kind of under the sea yoga? Sub-ohm vaping underwater whilst practising the downward dog?
Now you’re just being silly. That would be “om”, a sacred mantra: VERY different to the unit of electrical resistance, ohm. And we don’t suggest you try vaping underwater either, unless you want emerge a choking mess with a broken vape.
In the Vape Mountain glossary, sub-ohm vaping is defined as “a popular but controversial trend within the world of vaping” which involves “the process of tampering with your electronic cigarette, pushing the limit of the battery and altering its resistance level to enable bigger vapour clouds.”
That’s sub-ohming in a nutshell. But we’re guessing, if you’ve come to this page, you want to know more. So let’s crack open that nutshell, spill out the contents and get to the bottom of what it is that’s so appealing – and dangerous - about sub-ohm vaping.
Bigger, Faster, Stronger
Sub-ohm vaping isn't something that can be practiced with any old e-cigarette – if you want to try it out you’re gonna need a mod. This is the chunkier, more advanced, customisable big sister to the vape pen. Originally, the tech-savvy would fiddle around with their mods themselves, adding components to allow more power and bigger clouds.
Nowadays you can purchase pre-made sub-ohm tanks, although some of the more serious experienced vapers still prefer to design and build upon their devices themselves.
Lowering the resistance level of your mod’s battery allows more energy to flow to the coil, so that it can reach a higher temperature more quickly. This is what enables larger vapour cloud production, as well as a more intense flavour. Lowering the resistance to less than 1 ohm – basically the lowest it can go - is what’s described as sub-ohm vaping.
There’ll always be people who like to take things to extremes. Cloud chasers are those who practice sub-ohm vaping in order to produce the biggest vapour clouds, often competing with one another.
There’s even recognised cloud chasing competitions, like the World Series of Vape in Las Vegas, where experienced vapers gather like dragons to compare their vapour plumes and crown a victor!
So basically sub-ohm vapers are like the free-climbers of mountain climbing or the deep-sea divers of snorkelers. Even Hon Lik (the inventor or the modern e-cigarette) recognised this fact in saying “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” in reference to the cloud chasing phenomenon.
All sounds fun and exciting so far, but just like deep sea diving and car racing, sub-ohm vaping is not without its risks. In fact it can be downright dangerous, so we cannot stress enough that we do not recommend it in any way. However if you're intent on pushing vaping to the extreme it's important to be clued-up and well informed.
Pushing your battery to the limit this way can cause the device to overheat, melt and even explode. Sub-ohm vaping is not recommended, but if you must do it then make sure you do your homework first: read up on Ohm’s Law and basic electronics, explore vaping community forums and make sure you know exactly what you’re doing.
Sure, producing the biggest, most flavoursome vapour clouds sounds awesome in theory, but there’s nothing awesome about a vape exploding in your face.
When Not to Sub-Ohm
Sub-ohmers usually vape liquid with a lower nicotine content as producing more vapour means you'll receive a harsher nicotine hit. They also inhale straight to lung rather than from the mouth. Therefore if you vape as a substitute for smoking, looking to simulate the experience whilst getting a nicotine fix, sub-ohm vaping probably isn't for you.
Furthermore, it’s not the best idea if you’re vaping on a budget as sub-ohming uses up larger quantities of e-juice more quickly.
If you're new to the vaping community then forget mods and sub-ohming - we suggest you stick to your e-cigs and vape pens! With thousands of juice flavours available for you to enjoy, what more could you need?