Buying My First Hookah:
A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Pipe And Smoking Like a Pro
So you’ve decided to join the ranks of the hookah connoisseurs and start smoking like a pro! But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect hookah. Many people buy 1-2 pipes before finally finding a solid lasting setup. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered with this beginner’s guide to avoid the common pitfalls in hookah buying.
How To Choose Your First Hookah - Easy Peasy
When it comes to choosing a hookah, there are several materials to choose from such as metal, glass, wood, silicone and more. But don't get too hung up on the options! The most important factors to consider are the durability of the materials used and the smoothness of the draw. That's what a hookah is all about. Don't worry about the amount of smoke produced, that's more the responsibility of the bowl. Lastly, consider the aesthetics and size that fit your personal taste and needs.
In this article, we'll be talking about modern hookahs, but if you're interested in traditional hookahs, we'll have another article on that. We just want to make sure you don't fall into common pitfalls when buying your first hookah.
Main Differences Between Modern Hookah Pipes
Hookah pipes are simple systems, so it's not hard for anyone to jump into the market with a new design. What sets the good pipes apart is the quality of the materials used and how they're assembled for a clean, even look that does not start falling apart after a few months. The draw is also important, as it affects how easy it is to pull smoke through the pipe. Some people like a wide open draw, while others prefer something more restricted. As a beginner, it won't matter too much, but it's good to know the differences between pipes to make a wise decision.
Price usually dictates the material quality and number of features each model offers. But don't get swayed by a high price tag - some brands charge more for aesthetics. So as long as you know what to look for, you'll be able to tell the difference between what fits your needs and what's just an added bonus.
For example, Steamulation hookahs are more expensive due to their draw-altering features, but there are cheaper hookahs that use the same grade of stainless steel. Dschinni hookahs use higher grades of stainless steel and more durable glass bases, but they don't have as many features. Kaloud hookahs use less expensive materials like silicone and acrylic, but they justify their price with patented smoke filtration systems and visually appealing aesthetics.
What Materials To Look For In A Hookah
For ease of cleaning, go for stainless steel and high-quality glasses like borosilicate. Aluminum-bodied hookahs are budget-friendly, but make sure the inside stem and immersion tube are made of 304 grade stainless steel or higher to avoid corrosion. Aluminum bodies are also more prone to wear and fading. The most durable hookahs are made of full 304 (V2A) stainless steel, which is the industry standard among reputable manufacturers. V4A is less common but can be found in some newer Dschinni models. Full stainless steel pipes will last the longest, especially with a durable glass base and proper care.
Diffusers are not a material, but a common feature in modern pipes. They cool down the smoke by prolonging its time in the water and reduce the famous bubbling noise that hookahs are known for. Just something to keep in mind!
Hookahs To Steer Clear Of
Whoa, where do we begin? There are so many hookah brands out there, all claiming to be the best and offering amazing deals. But the real question is, will they hold up and are they safe to use? We've seen a lot of people come into our store with pipes in need of repair. A quick look inside the heart or valve casing often reveals a nasty surprise - corrosion and peeling where the smoke you inhale needs to pass through. Yikes! This can be due to a variety of reasons such as cheap materials, shoddy finishing on the thread ends, or subpar welding techniques. Aluminum immersion tubes are notorious for corroding at the threads or base if left in the base water for too long, unless they meet aviation standards. Don't be tempted by cheap Ak47 and other fancy design hookahs, as they often break down or rust soon after purchase.
There are a lot of new models flooding the market, but watch out for imitators. While it may seem like a good idea to save some money, these cheaper alternatives can end up costing you more in the long run. They often have low-quality bases that break easily, and their proprietary click-on or screw-on designs make it difficult to find replacement parts. They might offer cheap accessories with their kits, but these often don't last long and perform poorly. Pressure leaks are also very common in cheap hookahs and often lead to reduced smoke production if any.
The OG Hookahs
In the olden days, hookahs were usually made of brass or wood stems and were known for their excellent flavor retention. However, these materials may not have been the most sanitary and could have posed health risks.
There’s thousands of different variations of hookahs from over the centuries that have led to the evolution of hookah. Thankfully, modern technology and innovation has made the social activity of hookah much safer in recent days.
Bowl Game On Point
Your hookah can only do so much - it's the ease of drawing smoke through the head. To get the most out of your hookah, you need a high-quality bowl, the right shisha flavor density when packing, and proper heat management techniques (whether using foil or a heat management device).
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Choosing Charcoal Like a Pro
The right charcoal can make all the difference in your hookah experience. Opt for natural coconut shell charcoals, which are known for their consistent heat and long-lasting burn. Stay away from quick-light charcoals, as they contain chemicals that can taint the flavor of your hookah and harm your health.
Picking the Perfect Shisha and Flavors
The shisha tobacco and flavors are the heart of the hookah experience, so make sure to choose wisely. Experiment with different brands and flavors to find what you like, and don't be afraid to mix and match. Quality is key when it comes to shisha, so look for reputable brands that use high-quality tobacco, even cuts and preferably natural ingredients in their flavors.
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