How to Find the Right Bong for You
A water pipe can make or break a smoking experience. One that’s too difficult to handle, has too much drag, or produces too harsh of hits can put a damper on an otherwise fun time. Although it may seem like all water pipes should work the same, there are many subtle differences than can affect almost every detail of the overall experience. Don’t let your drags be a drag. Discover which water pipe characteristics are important to you below before purchasing your next water pipe.
Before selecting a water pipe, determine what its primary use will be. Are you looking for an ornate piece of glass that makes you happy every time you smoke out of it, or are you looking for small and simple as your go-to piece? Will you be using it at parties, or is it a piece you want to keep at home? This may help you narrow down your choices to either heady or scientific, and from there determine what type of material you want your piece to be constructed from.
Stationary or On-the-Go?
Whether you are the type who prefers to enjoy their hits at home or only smokes socially, your lifestyle will either be hindered or enhanced by the type of pipe you choose. Silicone water pipes are great for heavy travel and taking to group environments, while ornate glass pipes are usually safer if left at home. Some water pipes can disassemble for easy traveling, and even smaller glass pipes can be stored safely from location to location. Size, durability, and ease of use are all factors to take into consideration before purchasing a pipe.
Water pipes are constantly updating and evolving, so there are more extra features than ever to choose from when purchasing a water pipe. Here are a few to consider:
- Removable parts. If you’re hoping to use your pipe for both dry herbs and for dabbing concentrates, you may want to choose a pipe with a removable downstem and/or bowl to switch with an adapter and banger or nail for increased functionality. Ash catchers are another great addition you can add to your pipe to prevent the water from becoming disgustingly dirty.
- Shape of mouthpiece. Most mouthpieces will be straight up and down, but a few designs are starting to include bent mouthpieces for ease of use. This feature may not make a difference to some, but for others a non-curved mouthpiece can be a deal breaker.
- Shape of neck. Most necks will also be straight up and down, but the new “zong” design adds a curve or two to the neck shaping it like a “z”. This allows the smoke more time to cool as it turns the corners, and can also act as a great splash guard for accidental tip-overs.
- Percolators. Every percolator acts to filter the vapor that much more and increase the smoothness of each hit. The more percolators you have, the smoother the hit will be, but the more drag you will experience as well. There are so many different percolators on the market today, you may just need to experiment to find the right one for you.
- Ice pinch. For users who like ultra-cool hits with ice, an ice pinch is a necessity with any pipe purchase. Ice pinches are indents on the sides of the neck that prevent the ice from falling into the base.
Care and Maintenance
The last factor to consider before choosing a piece is how much time and attention you want to put in to keeping your pipe functioning well. All of the additional parts and designs can make your piece look cool, but each one adds additional maintenance and cleaning at the end of the day. If you want easy, go with basic. If percolators, ash catchers, and diffused downstems are important to you, then they will be worth the extra maintenance.
- Abbigail Montgomery