Hookah For Beginners
Everything you need to know to get started right
What a Hookah Beginner Needs for Their First Smoke Session
Tired after a long day’s work? Maybe you just need a short break from the daily grind? You may have seen a couple of your friends smoke a hookah pipe when you come over and that may have gotten you interested in getting one for yourself. But where do you get one? What other equipment do you need?
Many have been thinking about trying out hookah for the first time. But most know little to almost nothing about it. Before starting, a beginner needs to figure out certain things about smoking hookah, so here is a guide to help you out.
Starting Out With Hookah
Fifteen years ago, smoking hookah was not as popular as it is now. There were limited options with only small companies selling shisha and the materials needed to smoke it. Different types of coal such as coconut were not even available then.
Today, those that want to try hookah out have a bountiful amount of choices when it comes to smoking one. The hookah market has truly evolved into a community that shares new ways to enjoy the water pipe, so you will have an easy time finding the information you need.
Get a Reliable Hookah Setup
The goal for beginners is to be able to equip themselves with a hookah setup that has all the basic items they would need. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just the bare minimum to have a good time. Your basic kit as a hookah beginner should include a hookah (of course), coal (one box), tobacco (100 grams), and an electric coal burner.
All this equipment should cost around $150 more or less. You can go on to expand your collection and get more expensive products as you gain more knowledge and experience.
The Hookah Itself
It’s recommended for you to get a small to medium-sized hookah of the standard build. Your hookah should have a stem, a tray, and a glass base which is also known as shisha. Although there are fancier ones for purchase out there, beginners need to stick to the basics.
The hookah should be 14 to 26 inches in height. Options smaller than this are not great for holding water and will not be good at filtering and cooling the smoke. This can cause your throat or lungs to burn. Larger hookahs are okay to use but are usually pricier.
This should cost more or less $60. There are cheaper ones available as well and these can be of good quality. Get one that is in your price range but is also of sound construction. There are also various varieties available, such as hookah pens.
Once you purchase your standard hookah, companies usually pair them with tongs that help with coal handling. A quick tip: Add ice cubes to the base for a better smoke experience.
Although your newly purchased hookah is already equipped with a hose, it is wise to get a silicon one. Your hookah usually has a traditional hose. This type goes back decades and was the only type of hose to exist. Some dislike the traditional hose because it restricts airflow and cannot be washed. In other cases, your hookah will have a disposable hose that is made out of a plastic material. This type is meant to be thrown away after one use.
The silicone hose is the best in the market as of late. It lasts longer because it is washable. Even when used regularly, the hose does not hold any flavor. It costs approximately $25.
Bowls come in a variety of options. For beginners and even for experienced smokers, phunnel bowls are the most recommended type. It is easier to back it and people get a good smoke from it.
Experts prefer to splurge on the bowls they use because their smoke sessions heavily rely on the packing ability of the bowl. The better the packing ability, the better the session.
Good quality bowls cost around $25 and can go up from there.
The highly recommended type to get is coconut coal. Expert smokers and hookah lounges use this kind for a reason. Although they take longer to light, they last the most out of all the other options out in the market. Besides this, they have a light and clean taste to them.
There’s no need to worry about the specific type of coconut coal, size, shape, or style. They all work the same. When you become an experienced smoker, you will find out your preferences in time. A quick tip: place the coal at the sides of the bowl and not the center.
An electric burner is the best option for lighting your coal up. Get one with a 1100w power for the best preheating and coal lighting time. This product usually costs less than $20.
Invest in Good Heat Management
The most basic way to have effective heat management is to grab a piece of foil and poke some holes in it to allow airflow. The foil found in your kitchen cabinet will do and you do not need anything fancier than this type.
For your convenience, there are available foils that are specialized. They are made to fit the hole of your hookah perfectly. They are also pre-punched. These can cost up to $5.
Now for the most anticipated part of the setup – the tobacco. Two types are available in the market, blonde and dark leaf. Blonde is the recommended type for beginners. They are lighter and easier to inhale, making it more bearable for beginners. This type is also best for passing around and sharing with a group of friends.
Prices vary from state to state and from each company that produces it. A good quality blonde leaf pack costs around $15. A quick tip: pack the stronger flavor at the bottom of the bowl for more effectiveness.
With this setup, you are now ready to smoke your own hookah! Make sure to be safe and know your body’s limits when smoking.