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May Wilkerson May Wilkerson

Video: Welcome to the World of Competitive Vaping

An entire subculture has evolved around electronic smoking devices. Behold: "The X-Games of Vaping."

2 Substance

E-Cigarettes came into this world as a device to help people quit smoking tobacco. They’ve since become a major phenomenon. “Vaping,” using these electronic devices to smoke either weed or nicotine-infused vapor, which is often flavored, is tres cool—so cool in fact that it’s evolved into a “growing subculture.” And where there’s a subculture, there is inevitably a competitive sport. This is America after all. A new video from Mashable (below) offers a window in to the world competitive vaping, which is “kind of like the X-games, or what skateboarding was 20 years ago.”

The title “pro vapers” sounds bizarre even to those who carry it. ”That sounds weird, ‘professional vaper,’ I just blow clouds, you know?” says Chris “Bud” Wilson, who works as a tattoo artist when he’s not blowing clouds of smoke competitively. He explains that the goal is to make the vapor clouds “as big and as dense as we can” which is done with a technique called “the push.” The pros build and modify their own vaporizers to control the size and shape of the clouds of smoke. They then stand back-to-back, inhale and puff and the crowd judges the winning cloud. Winners then travel to compete against winners in other states, and the finalists compete in something called a “Vape Summit Convention.”

Move over, skateboarding.