Why do people want to perform vape tricks? It’s simple: people have played with stuff that came out of their body since the paleolithic era. Many a movie has depicted a challenge between two – or more – youngsters, usually male, where the one who spat longer was crowned the winner. Smoking gave us something more to play with, smoke (duh!), with the most avid smokers doing the most basic of tricks: “blowing O’s”.
The “O’s” are, of course, smoke rings, blown out of the smokers mouth.
Vaping upped the ante, by providing us with richer, thicker, fuller vapor as fuel for such tricks. Even if you think somebody “doing the dragon” by blowing huge streams of vapor from his mouth and nostrils looks rather stupid instead of, you know, an actual dragon, you have to admit that tricks like this are impossible with “analog smoking”. There, that’s another bonus of switching to vaping, apart from all the health advantages of quitting the “hobby” of inhaling burning paper and tobacco: you can play around with the fluffy clouds you blow. After lots of practice, trial and error, you might even be able to mold them into specific shapes – a whirlwind, a jellyfish, a depiction of Robocop riding a unicorn.
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Keep in mind that when first trying those vape tricks, you’ll probably fail. And it doesn’t matter: as we said, those tricks are a nice bonus to have. “An extra”. The most important thing is to stay off cigarettes, so even if your first attempts at a whirlwind look more like inconsistent waves of vapor, don’t give up. Practice more, retry the same tricks whenever you feel like it and soon you’ll find yourself explaining to others how to do them. Treat them like a fun way to waste some time, not like something you must master.
Before we begin
All of what follows depends on you inhaling and blowing large amounts of vapor. More, way more than what you’d inhale when vaping to stop nicotine cravings.
When vaping to quit smoking, you want some “throat hit” – a feeling similar to the one produced when inhaling cigarette smoke. And that means some Propylene Glycol (PG for short) in your juice. The more PG, the harsher the throat hit.
Those are the reasons why it would probably be better using a “special mix” of juice when trying out those vape tricks. Juice with more Vegetable Glycerin (VG for short) instead of PG, to minimize throat hit and maximize clouds. Juice with zero Nicotine, to avoid “getting over-nic’ed”, practically overdosing on it. It’s not dangerous, but it can lead to some dizziness if you overdo it. You can even use plain VG, with no nicotine, no flavor.
Before trying those out, also remember to close any doors and windows, to turn your AC unit off and tell Joe to stop banging on the drums. Traveling air can wreck havoc on your vapor, making it move randomly, stripping you from any hope of somehow controlling it.
The first trick we see can be one of the easiest or hardest ones to master, depending on your biology. Yep, you’ve read that right. Unfortunately, all those people saying we’re all the same and there are no biological differences between us should be tied on a chair and forced to try doing this trick. You see, depending on the shape of your mouth, lips and teeth, and “the way they work”, the Dragon can be the easiest trick to pull off or practically impossible.
The trick’s gets its name from your appearance while trying it out – you, theoretically, look like the mythical lizard-beasts Daenerys Targaryen commands in Game of Thrones, flying around in Skyrim. A dragon. By inhaling as much vapor as you can and then forcefully pushing it out through both your nostrils and mouth, while you keep the center of your lips touching, you create four “bursts” of vapor. Two come downwards, from your nostrils, two fly sideways, from the edges of your mouth. It’s simple – you just have to do the opposite of whistling, while force-blowing all the vapor you inhaled as fast and as hard as you can.
Practically, as is my personal case, it might end up being an impossible feat. In my case, I can’t “simply” keep my mouth closed in the center but somewhat open to the sides. I could never “open wide” as much as the average person – much to my dentist’s vexation. It’s just the way my face’s muscles work.
The most popular trick, “blowing O’s” is just… well… Blowing “O”- shaped vapor “rings”. Within minutes of trying, without much practice, you’ll probably manage to blow your first “O”. Rejoice! You did it! Right?
Well, blowing one o-ring isn’t really that impressive. Some people did it when smoking analog cigarettes. And they produce wisps of smoke compared to the large volume of vapor produced with vaping gear. To really reach impressive levels, and after lots of practice, you’ll find yourself blowing streams of O’s, one right after the other. O’s flying all around you. By tweaking your approach you’ll also be able to change their size, creating larger or smaller ones. That’s when the trick really becomes impressive.
To pull it off, inhale as much vapor as you feel comfortable with – don’t overdo it, or the next step might fail: while keeping the vapor in your lungs, start pushing it out in your mouth, “collecting it” there. Make an O-like shape with your lips and then either try lightly coughing (not too much, like if you’re trying to gently get the attention of the person sitting next to you) repeatedly. While keeping your tongue inside your mouth but placed right in the middle of your, now O-shaped, lips. The logic behing this is that your lips will form the roundish shape of the O-rings, your tongue will be the reason “they have a hole in the middle”. The micro-burst of air, coming from your lung, while coughing, will push the vapor out of your mouth. The first two or three bursts won’t look like O-rings but the more you try, the better they’ll get.
There are alternative techniques (like “flicking” the o-rings out of your mouth by using your tongue like a “slingshot”, moving it back and forth in your mouth “to push the vapor out”) but the “cough” method seems to be generally considered the easiest one.
Actually a whole family of vape tricks that you can find under many different names, that we decided to group under the “Magneto” label, since when seeing them in action feels like if you’re in the company of Marvel’s famous X-Men antagonist.
We can only describe what they are and how you can pull them off, but there’s no point in giving specific instructions or trying to overanalyze a specific “move”. You see, they all depend on you “pushing” and “pulling” air to manipulate the movement of the vapor you’ve exhaled in some previous trick. In 99% of the cases this means “o-rings”.
The first thing to try is “force-pushing” an o-ring. To do this, after blowing a relatively thick, fluffy o-ring, do a Bruce-Lee levels of quick “stop” movement, with your palm open and the fingers close together, towards the o-ring. What you want to do is to actually push a bit of air towards the o-ring with your palm. This will propel it towards the way you pushed – and when you first pull it off, you might feel like an actual Jedi!
A similar move is “guiding” an o-ring with your hand. If you keep your hand close to your mouth and you start “following” an o-ring with your palm exactly after you blow it, using a singular gentle move, you can pull off a “continuous push” where the air from your hand’s movement will keep the o-ring “gliding” right in front of it.
After this, and some more practice – and understanding of how you can “push and pull” the air around you to affect your vapor, you might find yourself changing the direction an o-ring travels multiple times, or toying with multiple o-rings bringing to mind the scene from the first Matrix where Neo stopped a bunch of bullets mid-air.
We lied about the Dragon being the simplest vape trick to pull off. This is even easier but, well… It’s not really “a trick” and everyone can do it with no practice at all. When drinking something – anything, but preferably something cold – from a glass, try this: inhale as much vapor as you can and then touch your lips on the edge of your glass and slowly exhale the vapor. Being heavier than air, the vapor will drop inside the glass and stay on top of whatever you’re drinking.
If you keep your movements smooth and gentle when you finish exhaling, placing your glass down, the vapor will remain there at least the time you’ll need to take out your smartphone and upload a photo of your “trick” on your favorite social media service.
Bonus Track: The Whirlwind / Tornado
We’ll end this article on a low note, talking about the vape trick that, no matter how much I’ve tried (and I admit, it wasn’t enough), I didn’t manage to pull off: the whirlwind / tornado.
You start by placing your hand on a flat surface like a table. Then you slowly blow as much vapor as you can over it. It should spread on the flat surface creating a fluffy cloud around your hand. Then, with an as-rapid-as-you-can move, turn your hand vertically and raise it up. The twist-and-rapid-lift of your hand should turn the vapor into a whirlwind shape, that will start traveling on the flat surface.
It should. In my case, it doesn’t, for whenever I tried the trick, all I’ve managed was to pull most of the vapor towards me. I know that I’m doing something wrong and that’s why a) I’ve explained how you could try it out and b) we’ve got a commenting system. So, feel free to leave a comment explaining how you did it!