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Hookah Basics. How to Get a Solid Hookah Session Going

Hookah Basics. How to Get a Solid Hookah Session Going

By Katie / June 8, 2012
Think back to a more innocent time. A time before the wonderful world of billowing smoke clouds, sweet smelling shisha, and Egyptian-made, glass bases. Now, think back to the glorious first time you smoked a hookah - when you overloaded the bowl, burned the crap out of your carpet, chose the worst tasting tobacco, and finished it all off by thoroughly washing out that non-washable hose. Ah, memories.


There’s been a lot of talk around here about what TO do with a hookah, but I wanted to know about the most common mistakes. I scoured the forums, asked around on Twitter, and I came up with a list of the top five newbie errors. There were a few that didn't make the official list, but definitely deserve a Darwin Award in their own right. The most deserving honorable mention goes to one gentleman who decided to give his base grommet a little extra lubricant to ensure a good seal. So, naturally, he grabbed hand lotion, buttered up the grommet, and slid it right into home base. Well, it worked. Until the lotion caused the grommet to rot, and left a lovely sludge around the base. Dear sir: lotion has many purposes, many of them are unexpected, but this is not one of them. Too much time watching Skinemax.


On to the list!


5. Sheesh, Shisha!
- Over packing bowls - Using cigarette tobacco instead of shisha - Forgetting to poke holes in the foil


4. Dude. Where's the water?
- Forgetting to put water in the base was surprisingly common - Over/Under filling the base


3. Coal Play
- Trying to catch falling coals with your bare hands - Not letting quick light coals turn ashy before placing them on the bowl. Mmmmmm, the sweet taste of accelerant. - Trying to light natural coals with a disposable lighter - Placing coals directly on to the shisha without the foil barrier


2. What's with your carpet?
- New user, or old, everyone seems to have issues keeping their coals from meeting their carpet


1. Purge-atory
And the winner of the most common mistake that occurs when hookahing: not realizing that the ball bearing is stuck in the purge valve. It's time to push out that stale smoke, so you give a blow through the hose...but nothing happens. So you blow a little harder, and a little harder until KA*POW! Well, you purged it. But instead of exiting out the purge valve, the water, air, and smoke shot through the top of the hookah. Now you're looking at a tragic scene akin to a battlefield - hot coals are flying through the air, landing willy-nilly, igniting the Burger King wrappers that litter your floor. The bowl of shisha is soaked and ruined. Maybe in the shock of it all, you've tipped the whole hookah right into your friend's lap where that last coal landed right in their pocket but luckily their lap was dowsed with used hookah water.Party. Foul.


Let's learn from our fellow brethren and not let history repeat itself. Especially that lotion guy. Seriously.


Until next time, happy smoking! -Katie


To see tutorial videos on this subject, and others, check out our How-To Playlist on YouTube!


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