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by Wade Hill
June 04, 2017
Just as there are many different kinds of people in the world, there are just as many different kinds of hookah smokers. There are those who chase the fattest clouds - who want to rip clouds to make all of their friends envious. There are those who could care less about clouds - those who just want a flavor that tastes delicious, one that they can enjoy. There are also those who want their flavor to last for hours upon hours - and spend time trying to perfect how to stretch their bowl as long as possible. And finally, there are those who are looking for buzz - people who want their hookah to provide as much nicotine as humanly possible. At the end of the day, there is no right answer as to how to smoke hookah, it's all going to boil down to personal preference. However, it's important to be aware of these other kinds of smokers, and to be conscious of why they like what they like. So today, for the weekly Hookah Heroes blog post, we're going to be talking about the different types of hookah smokers, and how their preferences effect what they choose to smoke.
The Cloud Chasers
This is the most common type of hookah smoker. The hookah smoker that wants to rip the fattest clouds, and show off how much smoke their bowls can put off. This type of hookah smoker will commonly be using a hookah with a very wide open draw, something like a Regal, or a B2. Wider draw hookahs allow for more smoke to move more quickly, and thus can play a big part in helping you get fatter clouds. This type of hookah smoker can often also overpack their bowls - the more contact that their tobacco is making with an HMD, as this can be the main reason their clouds are so thick and puffy. The flavor usually takes a backseat in this type of session. However, that's not to say that all who chase clouds don't enjoy the flavor, more that they look for flavors from brands that compliment their search for fat clouds. Brands like Haze, Pure, and Trifecta, that have plenty of glycerin to achieve those thick and puffy clouds.
The Flavor Chaser
More traditionally, hookah has been about flavor. Cloud chasers didn't come around until brands like Starbuzz hit the market. More traditional brands, like Al Fakher, Nakhla, and even more traditional, like Jurak, Tombac, and even Zaghloul - all of which are very dry, and because of this, don't put off clouds as well (not to say they can't though). These more traditional brands cultivated the older generation of hookah smokers, who really only cared about the flavor that they were smoking. Of course, as hookah has changed, so have these types of smokers. The more modern flavor chasers are looking more at things like how flavorful something is, or how natural a flavor can be. They want their smoking session to be pure, untainted, and smooth. They don't want to apply too much heat, as they're more concerned with how that will effect the flavor. They don't care about brands that put out clouds, unless of course they also put out great flavors. Many of these brands can, of course, coincide, like Trifecta and Pure. True flavor chasers will go so far as to buy more restricted pipes and hoses, to help them achieve more flavorful sessions. Having a restricted pipe means that the smoke will be flowing over your tongue slower, allowing for more flavor. Syrian hookahs, like Al Nawras, are perfect for this, and even using more restricted hoses like the Asli or Lulava hose can help achieve this as well. Many will even go so far as to use bowls like Tangiers funnel bowls. as these have a smaller spire, resulting in a more restricted smoke.
The Longevity Chaser
While the flavor and clouds chasers may be the two more popular categories of hookah smokers, there are a few more. One of the two other groups that we'll be talking about are the longevity chasers - people who want their sessions to last as long as possible, pushing their tobacco to the limit. There are far less of these smokers out there, however they are arguably some of the most creative smokers around. They'll find the best methods to make their tobacco last - through packing methods, heat that they're applying, foil/HMD usage, or even hookah choice. They push their tobacco to get the longest enjoyable session possible, and I commend them for that. However, many smokers feel that this effort is wasted, as many smokers only smoke for an hour or two at most, which most modern brands will do. So while I do commend them for what they're doing, it's not something that I find myself doing terribly often (as that's my preference). This smoker is less concerned with clouds, and more concerned with flavor, so this could almost be considered a sub-category of the flavor chaser. They want their session to last as long as it can, and they want it to be good.
The Buzz Chaser
The buzz smoker is arguably the simplest of hookah smokers - those looking to get messed up on their hookah. This can be a cause of many things, be it nicotine tolerance, love for the buzz, etc... This type of smoker is usually looking for brands like Ugly, Nakhla, Nirvana, and Tangiers - brands that pack a bigger nicotine buzz. They, like the cloud chasers, often will use methods like the overpack to help them achieve that heavy buzz, as the more heat that's applied to a session can help with applying more nicotine to be released from their tobacco.
What do you think? Do you find yourself in any of these categories? Of course, this isn't a blanket description for every hookah smoker, as every one of us is different. We all have different tastes, and different preferences based on those tastes. Are there any categories that I missed? There isn't a definitive answer to say which group is right or wrong - just what group is right for you. Tell me what you think - these articles aren't meant to be a set form of rules, just my opinions, and I want to hear your thoughts on these topics more than anything. There's not enough conversation in hookah, just a lot of opinions being thrown around, and I want to help change that. So let me know what you think in the comments below! As always guys, thank you so much for reading, and happy smokes!
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