The Physics Behind a Vape Trick

In honor of April Fool’s Day, we’re taking a look at a classic trick: the vapor ring.  

If you’ve looked up how vape tricks work, chances are you’re more confused than ever. There's lots of explanations on the internet that talk about “fluid dynamics” and “vortices”. The real explanation is a bit simpler. Vape tricks have everything to do with the vapor itself.   

Vapor is a collection of tiny gas, liquid and solid particles. When a person pushes vapor out of their mouth in a certain way, they create a central point of pressure. This central pressure moves forward creating a circle of vapor. The vapor itself is pushed outward to form the circle. It’s that simple! 

But why do vapor rings dissolve? Well, momentum continues to pull the vapor forward. This forward momentum dilutes the vapor with other air. At the same time, the vapor cools down. Eventually, the vapor becomes so diluted and/or gets close enough to room temperature that it disappears.  

It’s easy to see how this works when you know what you’re looking for. If you watch the rotation of a vapor ring, you’ll notice how the momentum pushing through the ring also pulls the inside edges of the ring with it. The vapor moves forward, around the outside, and backward, around the outside of the ring too! Momentum is what causes all this movement.  

So How Can You Blow a Vapor Ring?  

Once again, if you’ve looked this question up on the internet, you may be confused. You may have spent hours making your mouth into a round 0 and exhaling in short bursts to little or no effect. And it’s not that you’re doing anything wrong! It’s just that it’s really hard to teach someone how to blow a vapor ring. It’s one of those things, like rolling your tongue, that you have to intuitively get how to do.  

That said, if you understand the mechanics of how to blow a vapor ring, it’s more likely to click one day! 

Think of it like this. The ring shouldn’t come from your lungs, it should come from your throat. It’s not a full exhale. It’s more like a cough. You need a burst of air with enough momentum to create a ring, rather than a long stream.  

People who do vape tricks often use their hands to push vape rings forward for this very reason. They’re helping provide the momentum that a ring needs to keep its shape.  

Finally, part of the trick is to pull your tongue back while keeping the tip of your tongue down. This will allow you to hold the blast of air that you’ll expel to create momentum. Think of your mouth like a canon ejecting vapor!  

If you haven’t quite got it yet, don’t worry! Keep practicing. It’ll click eventually. If you’re a more visual learner, be sure to check out our YouTube channel for a live demonstration!