Between the myriad of design, size, material and thickness options to choose from, buying your first bong has the potential to be both overwhelming and confusing.
But it doesn’t have to be. This handy guide outlines everything you need to know about buying a water pipe, including where to shop for one.
Top 3 bong shops in Australia
When buying your bong, look no further than these choice online stockists:
Selecting a style
The first step in your water pipe journey is choosing what style you want. The three most common options are:
You can’t get much simpler than a straight tube. They’re faster and easier to clear than a beaker bong, making them pretty efficient. However, their small base makes them more prone to tipping over.
Similar to a straight tube but with a flared out base, the beaker bong is ideal for anyone who wants to avoid the unpleasant water-in-the-mouth experience that can sometimes occur with a straight tube. They are also a good way to get a big hit in a small size, thanks to their large body.
A round base style works just like a beaker and a straight tube, however the shape is slightly different. Round-base bongs are more stable than a straight tube but slightly less stable than a beaker bong.
Recyclers work by taking used water from the base to a second chamber located near the mouthpiece; it then returns it to the base to be reused. Recycle bongs provide great filtration and cool, smooth smoke – plus they look really cool. They tend to be more expensive and harder to clean than other styles.
Choosing a material
While you could always make a homemade bong using a plastic water bottle, investing in a high-quality material like glass may be a better option in the long-run, though it all depends on your needs and budget. Here are the most common materials you’ll find:
Glass is the most commonly used material despite being expensive, and it is easier to buy add-ons and modifications for glass bongs. The glass doesn’t affect the flavour, and is transparent, making it easier to know when to clean it. Scientific glass is a good option as it tends to be thick and durable, so it’s less prone to breaking. Glass is also believed to be the healthiest option.
Some people find wooden or bamboo bongs to be a good experience (and they look pretty stylish), but they do come with the risk of leaking due to a lack of watertightness, or the possibility of breathing in fumes if it has been varnished. They can also be tricky to clean.
Ceramic bongs tend to be on the smaller size due to their weight, but they come with a pure, clean taste. Ceramic bongs give you a wide range of colour and design options, so you can really personalise them. However, being both heavy and fragile, you’re probably best leaving your ceramic bong at home. They are also hard to clean.
If you’re short on cash, a plastic bong can do the trick. While you’re limited when it comes to modifying it and won’t have many design options to choose from, plastic does allow you to see the water quality and is pretty durable. It’s a good one to keep in the car for camping trips.
Select a size
Choosing a size is pretty straightforward – simply decide what you’ll be using your bong for and where you’ll be using it. If you want something portable that you can take travelling, a smaller bong will be ideal. If you want a statement piece for the home or something that will give you a huge rip, go for something bigger.
Choose a percolator
Though not essential, percolators are pretty standard when buying a bong. They add an extra level of filtration, reduce toxins and help to cool down the smoke in the bong for a smoother, healthier and more pleasant experience. The most popular percolators are:
Provides decent filtration and average drag.
Average filtration and minimal drag.
Minimal drag and great filtration.
Average filtration and slightly more drag than shower heads.
Minimal drag and great filtration.
What you choose comes down to personal preference; it’s hard to say if any one is better than another – they’re just different.
Keeping it clean
Cleaning your bong is an essential part of the bong experience – it’s only a matter of time before your new device will fill up with tar and smoke residue. Yet cleaning a simple straight tube bong will be a lot easier than cleaning a recycler or something containing a percolator. If you’re going to get a bong with a percolator, consider getting an ashcatcher, too, as this will minimise the need to clean the actual bong itself.
Knowing what kind of size joint you’ll be buying is important as it will determine the bong you buy – you want to get one that has the same size joints. The two most common sizes are 14mm and 18mm.
Modifications and add-ons
Finally, you have the option of adding extras onto your water pipe – things that are nice, but inessential. A splash guard is a good option for people who want to avoid dirty bong water from getting in their mouths (more common with straight tubes). Ice pinches are ideal for those who want cooler smoke – it works by cooling the smoke using ice. And as mentioned, ashcatchers are often a good investment, too.
The type of bong you buy depends on your personal preferences, budget and lifestyle. Thankfully, the abundance of options and styles available online makes shopping for the perfect water pipe easy once you know what you’re looking for. Make sure to do your research and buy the bong that is right for you.