7 Essential Hookah Tactics for Beginners

Oct 27 , 2021

7 Essential Hookah Tactics for Beginners

All beginners encounter a few teething issues during their initial trysts with hookahs. Most beginners are likely to make a few mistakes, but you can avert them with some handy tips. Use these tactics for a satisfying smoking experience on the first day itself.


Get a Phunnel or Vortex Bowl

Do not buy any hookah that doesn’t have a phunnel or vortex bowl. If you are buying a bowl separately, choose between these two because any other design will impair your sessions. 

A fundamental and unavoidable truth about hookah bowls is the oozing of the shisha tobacco flavor. Some of the honey, glycerin, or molasses in shisha tobaccos will accumulate at the base of a hookah bowl. 

If there are holes at the bottom, these juices will flow down into the stem or pipe. You will have a dirty and clogged pipe in due course. More immediately, though, your smoke’s flavor and texture will suffer as the juices won’t get to enrich the vapor. 

Phunnel and vortex bowls retain these oozing juices at the base. Thus, you continue to draw dense and flavor-rich smoke, blow big clouds, and test your skills at making the haloed O.


Choose a Washable Hookah Hose

Hookah bowls, stems or pipes, bases, and trays among other accessories must be thoroughly cleaned and washed. You have to clean the hookah hose, too. If it is not washable, the hose will retain residual traces from every session. 

Unclean and clogged hookah hoses may rust, corrode, discolor, and degrade to an extent that you won’t be able to use them for a session. 


Get a Pack of Natural Charcoal

Instant-light charcoal is convenient. You can ignite the pieces in a minute and most quick-light charcoal burns easily. However, the pieces don’t last long, some may burn out or ashen quickly, and you have to endure the smell of burning sulfur or the chemical accelerant in the product. 

Natural charcoal made from dried and crushed coconut shells don’t add any chemical flavor, taste, or texture to shisha tobacco smoke. Also, the natural variants last longer as the burn-rate is slow. Yet, the heat generated is superior to that of instant-light charcoal.   


Always Use a Clean Hookah

Never reuse a hookah dirtied during an earlier session. You may still consider such reuse if you smoke the same flavor, but it is always safer, healthier, and experientially better to clean the entire hookah after every session.  

Some connoisseurs often use different clay bowls and hoses when they switch from one flavor to another. They get rid of the dirty water, replenish the base, and use the purge valve to get rid of residual traces of smoke from the earlier session. However, you may take some time to master this approach. 


Regulate the Water

Many beginners have disappointing experiences at home, especially because the expectation is the smoke one enjoys at a hookah lounge. Well, three critical factors are at play here: the charcoal, the water in the base, and the bowl’s wrapping. 

Another key element is how well you pack the shisha tobacco inside the bowl. You will hone your skills at packing in time as the approaches depend on the quality and flavor of shisha tobacco. What you must do from day zero is regulate the water in the base. 

The thumb rule is a downstem submerged for about an inch in the water. This rule does not apply to every scenario because the bore diameter and length of the stem or pipe, the capacity of the base, and the overall size of your hookah, including the clay bowl, affect the volume and quality of smoke. 

Increase the water level for cooler and better filtered smoke. Reduce the water if it is too hard to draw even a little smoke. Check the tobacco in the bowl and the charcoal atop it, of course, as both directly impact the smoke volume and quality. 


Use Two Pieces of Heavy-Duty Foil

Heavy-duty aluminum foil is better than thinner versions. Two pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil are ideal. You will have to spend a bit more money, but the difference in your experience will make the whole endeavor worthwhile. 

One piece of thin aluminum foil will burn many shisha tobacco flavors. Quicker heating also leads to uneven transfer inside the bowl. Thus, the entire packed shisha tobacco will not be equally used up throughout a session. 


Consider a Heat Management Device

Eventually, you will have to consider a heat management device. The charcoal pieces stay concealed inside walled chambers. You can regulate the airflow to and from or inside the device. You can raise the charcoal pieces higher atop the clay bowl if you want. 

Even if you use two pieces of aluminum foil on the clay bowl, you cannot prevent breeze or wind and other external factors affecting the temperature heating the shisha tobacco.