Getting started vaping is a lot easier said than done. Maybe you tried your first delicious puff off a friend's vape, or you're taking quitting smoking into your own hands by trying vape. But the first thing every first-time vaper discovers is that there are about a million different vape models out there to choose from. And as a beginner, of course, you have no idea where to start.
And the blogosphere is no help. The Internet is plastered with articles about what kind of vape rig is best, which mods you should use, whether you should vape at higher or lower temperatures. Every blogger is passionate, every opinion is different, but it all means pretty much jack squat to you right now because you have no idea how you feel about hot versus cool vape, pens versus mods, tanks versus cartridges.
So today, we're here to share some universal practical tips on how to pick out a first vape that will serve you well and help you learn about your own opinions in vaping style and gear.
Expect to Learn As You Go
The first step is acceptance of the first-vape experience. Every current vaper can tell you that your first vape is not going to be the perfect vape. You will learn to take it apart and put it back together. To clean it, to repair it when it fizzles, and to tighten it when it leaks. You will learn how to carry it in your pocket or bag, how to refill the tank, and how to replace worn-out or flavored wicks and coils.
And in that process, you'll learn about what you'd like better. You may want a slimmer or heftier rig. A larger drip-tip, a bigger or smaller tank. Your first vape is a lot like your first car. You're going to learn as you go, make mistakes, and figure out what you really want from your second vape in the process. So don't sweat picking the perfect vape right off the bat. instead, focus on getting a good utility vape -- like your first car -- that will serve you well while you get used to vaping and draw up plans for vape number two.
Start With Large Proven Vape Brands
In those million different vapes available online and in local smoke shops, only about 40% or fewer are legitimate brands or versions of the advertised brand. Vape is the hot new thing to counterfeit or produce cheaply and sell to eager online shoppers. So you'll want to be careful who you buy from if you want guaranteed service or quality.
Even many good vape brands suffer from 'Startup Syndrome' where there are just too few people in the team to man customer service or provide after-sale quality assurance.
First-time vapers who want a reliable vape, customer support, and an equipment warranty are best sticking with the big proven vape rig brands like Juul and SMOK. These devices not only come with better company support, but they also have a lot more forum posts about how to troubleshoot and modify from other vapers with the same rigs.
Gauge the Size of Your Hand
We mentioned that this guide was universal, and part of that is that we won't tell you whether a pen, mod, or pod is the best possible vape option of all time. The fact of the matter is that everyone vapes differently. Some want to feel like they're still smoking, some love the calorie-free desserts, some do it just to blow beautiful vapor into the night sky. And we all travel with our personal items differently. And we all have different sized hands.
Take a look at your hands. You know if they are small or large compared to normal sized handles and tools. Mod boxes can be huge and clunky, very comfortable for people with large hands and very awkward for those with small hands. But they also make slender mods for small-handed vapers so don't feel limited in that way.
If you prefer small, lightweight tools then a pen vape is going to feel more natural. Pens vary from slender ballpoint-sized devices to clunky cigar-sized vapes depending on the brand and model. So just like with the boxes, your comfort level will depend on preference and hand size.
Decide How You Want to Vape
Then there's your vaping style. Do you want a vape tucked into your jacket inner pocket like a flask or a pocket watch? Do you want a vape that clips inside your bag or purse? A vape that mounts in a brace on your mountain bike? Do you want a vape that is locked in a tidy kit at home? Everyone vapes differently and the model of vape you want will be influenced by that.
If you don't know how you vape yet, think about where you might fit vaping into your life right now. And the kind of items you like to carry on your person. Vapes come in all shapes and sizes, so your options are pretty broad as to how you want to carry and use your vape.
Try a Popular Starter Kit
Starter kits are the bomb for first-time vapers and vapers who are broadening their gear horizons. Kits tend to come with a popular and highly rated vape device along with everything you need to keep it cleaned and fueled. A pen kit, for example, might come with a battery, head, drip-tip, a glass tank and perhaps backup glass tanks, a power charger, and possibly a cleaning cloth. You may also get multiple 'heads' for a different kind of vaping like wax, herb, and liquid.
Starter kits are great because they save beginners the trouble and expense of putting together all the necessary gear piecemeal. You may decide to always buy starter kits or to start picking and choosing what equipment you buy in the future.
Start With VG-Only Vape Juice
If you've never had an allergic reaction to friend's vape, consider yourself lucky. About one in ten vapers develop an allergy to PG, one of the two common e-liquid bases in the industry. Fortunately, there's an easy way to avoid the risk of a surprise allergic reaction. Stick with VG-only e-liquid blends. VG stands for vegetable glycerine and it is a slight molecule variation of your average cooking oil. VG vape has a faint natural sweet flavor, produces thicker and more billowing clouds, and is not associated with a common allergic reaction.
Pick the 2-5 Most Tempting Flavors
It can be hard to decide what e-liquid flavors to start with at the very beginning. Most current vapers have tried so many flavors and developed their favorites so long ago, it may be hard to relate. But staring down page after page of potential flavors can be pretty intimidating. Take a deep breath. Really, a lot of those flavors are pretty similar when you look closely.
Instead of going on a flavor bonanza, what you really want is to get a feel for the flavor categories you like to vape. So look for simple flavors or the absolutely most tempting blends and buy between three and five flavors to start with medium-sized bottles. Here at Velvet Cloud, we value quality over quantity and each of our flavors represents a family of e-liquid flavors to tickle the taste buds.
If you like chocolate, try Mewlew's Magic. If you are curious about how fruity flavors vape, try the Harvest Berry. For a perfect taste of minty menthol vape, Mt Shasta is a pure shot of mint for your vaping taste buds. And for those who crave the taste of tobacco, try one of the Beard flavors, with Burly as our baseline pure warm tobacco flavor.
Learn From Your Experience and Refine
Finally, when you have your starter kit and begin testing out coils and flavors, the learning will begin. You'll start to have thoughts like "This would be easier if only the pen had a...." and "This is a little too big for my pocket. I wonder if they make them in a thinner model..."
And then the wheels will really start to roll in your mind. Every vaper develops strong opinions on the best kind of vape rig, the best flavors, and the best lifestyle for vaping. But these are personal bests, and you will soon develop an idea of your own personal bests. What would make a vape rig truly perfect for you. And then you won't need any guides to help you choose.