Stopping by your local smoke shop can be an intoxicating experience, for obvious reasons. If you’re in the market for a water pipe, there are many custom bong designs to choose from that could leave you wondering, "How can I decide?" There are tough choices, but with the right information, you can make a decision best for yourself.
WHAT TYPES OF BONGS ARE AVAILABLE?
Thankfully, a customized bong can be made from many different materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Bamboo is a popular material that a custom water pipe can be made from. These bongs can range from simple — just a tube of bamboo closed at the bottom—to elegant and opulent with metal, paint, and varnish integrated into the design. Bamboo’s best quality may be its durability.
Prepare for heavier lifting action with ceramic bongs as they’re heavier and sturdier than bonds made of other materials. Because of their bulk and fragility, this kind of customized water pipe doesn’t travel well. But, they’re available in many kinds of novelty colors, shapes, and sizes due to the fact that clay is malleable and a breeze to work with. Ceramic bongs are more expensive than plastic bongs, for instance, because of the work required for making them. It may not be your regular smoker, but ceramic is great for special occasions or just to display on a shelf or in a cabinet.
Glass is the most admired bong material available. It offers a clean, pure taste because the glass doesn't affect smoke flavor. You also can easily monitor resin buildup because it’s transparent, making cleanup a snap if the buildup becomes a problem. As a result, glass bongs are usually more expensive than bongs built from other materials.
You can buy a custom bong made of metal, but they’re not as popular as glass or plastic. Metal’s calling card is its durability. It’s also pretty inexpensive. The downside of metal bongs? They can ruin the taste of your smoke and you never really know they need to be cleaned out.
The second most popular bong is made from plastic thanks to its extreme durability and low manufacturing cost. It's much cheaper and faster to mold a plastic bong than metal. You can drop one of them in the middle of a coughing fit and the only damage would be the water stain on the flooring. Plastic bongs made are great for traveling because they’re hard to break and won’t explode or crack like ceramic or glass. The downside of plastic bongs? They, too, could slightly affect the taste of your smoke.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DESIGN
Like anything else, selecting the “right” custom water pipe design is often a matter of personal choice. Your water pipe can say a lot about your personality, style, and how you carry yourself in life. Here are the most common designs available.
Straight-tube bongs are the plainest design available. They’re made with a simple tube closed at one end with a bowl and stem sticking out of the side. You pour some water in the tube, put your ganja in the bowl, and smoke away. It’s easy, straightforward smoking at its finest.
The beaker-shaped bong is like the straight-tube bong except the bottom is spread into a cone shape that resembles a beaker. Thus, the name. Beaker bongs are more balanced than straight-tube bongs thanks to a larger base. You smoke from it the same way: Merely add water, cannabis, and flame and you’re ready to go.
Round-base bongs are like beaker bongs because the base is broader than the mouthpiece and the tube. Round-base bongs, like the name indicates, include a sphere-shaped water chamber and a flat base. They’re more stable than straight-tube bongs, but less stable than beaker bongs due to a smaller flat surface. No matter the shape — beaker, round, or straight — the simple mechanics of using them don’t change.
A multi-chamber bong, also referred to as a recycler bong, is a variant of the straight-tube bong, even though the chamber comes in various shapes. With this kind of customized water pipe, the straight tube is divided into two chambers linked by a tube or third chamber –- a unique design, to say the least. Both lower and upper chamber hold water, allowing the smoke to get filtered twice. This makes a significantly cooler, much smoother smoke than from the beaker, straight-tube, or round-base bong experience. Thanks to the complexity, multi-chamber bongs are much harder to build. This makes them more expensive than other bong designs and puts them out of reach of some smokers. Another drawback? Multi-chamber bongs are also tougher to clean.
A percolator bong, or bubbler bong, can be beaker-shaped, straight-tube, round-base, or mostly any other shape you can dream of. Their primary allure or uniqueness is that they include a percolator. If you looked close, you’d see the percolator is a bit of glass that disperses the smoke before it goes through the water and makes a bubbling force in the bong. Spreading the smoke in this manner helps to filter it more efficiently and cool it faster.
The percolator can rest at the bottom of the bong in a single-chamber design, in a multi-chamber configuration, or both (multi-chamber, multi percolator). Thanks to the complexity of this kind of bong, they can be hard to clean and, as a result, more expensive. Other types of popular water pipe designs include the bucket gravity bong, waterfall gravity bong, and the DIY-inspired “homemade bong.”