5 Ways to Get the BEST Water Pipe Hits

Posted by Jamie Pope on Apr 28, 2021

5 Ways to Get the BEST Water Pipe Hits

5 Ways to Get the Best Water Pipe Hits

Water pipes are one of the best and most popular ways to enjoy the benefits from dry herb! What makes water pipes so special compared to other forms of smoking is their ability to filtrate and diffuse smoke. With added filtration and diffusion, water pipes offer smooth smoke seshes and reduce our exposure to harmful byproducts that come from combusting dry herb!

Owning a water pipe is a huge step forward into any bud enthusiast’s smoking journey! If you’ve smoked from a water pipe and felt that it was a little harsh for your liking, or it wasn’t exactly what you expected, don’t lose hope. Cloud 9 Smoke Co has 5 ways to help you get the best water hits!

Ice, Ice, Baby!

If your water pipe has the ability to hold ice, get to packin’! The key way to tell if a water pipe is able to hold ice is the pinch that you’ll see in your water pipe’s neck.

Typically, ice pinches will look like this:

Having ice in your water pipe allows your smoke to have an additional chance to cool before it hits your throat! Even after diffusing and filtrating with your water pipe’s percolator, your smoke may still be a little too hot for your throat and lungs. To make all water pipe hits refreshing and smooth, keep your water pipe’s neck filled with ice!

To keep your water pipe in tip-top shape, always make sure to add ice slowly and in pieces. Though glass water pipes are made from borosilicate glass, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep any cracks or shatters out of the equation! As you gradually add ice, you’ll be able to control how much ice is being put into your water pipe. That way, you won’t have to worry about overflowing or ruining your glass water pipe!


What makes a water pipe hit smoothly is its percolation system! Percolators help to increase the aeration and filtration of your smoke. Essentially, the tiny slits and/or holes in percolators give your smoke repeated contact with air and water to filtrate, moisturize (yes, moisturize!), and diffuse in heat! Without percolators, you may experience super harsh hits that aren’t ideal for your lungs and throat.

Choosing the best percolator for your smoke experience is all up to your preference, but to help you out Cloud 9 Smoke Co has a list of popular, and some of our favorite, percolators in the game!

  • Honeycomb percolators: Honeycomb percolators are a flat, disc shaped percolator that diffuses your smoke through tiny holes - just like a honeycomb! These percolators are popular in the smoke community because of their low drag and resistance during inhalation. Not to mention, your smoke is bound to be buttery smooth after coming into contact with a honeycomb percolator!
  • Diffused downstem: A diffused downstem is standard for water pipes that don’t have a fixed percolator in their base! These are often removable and contain 2-3 slits at the end of the stem for diffusion and filtration. While diffused downstems are able to provide some percolation, Cloud 9 Smoke Co suggests smoking from a water pipe that has a percolator fixed into the chamber or additional percolation beyond the diffused downstem.
    • The MOB Glass Beaker is a water pipe with an ice pinch and a diffused downstem!
    • MOB Glass Beaker
  • Tree percolators: These percolators are very similar to diffused downstems, except they contain multiple arms making them all the more powerful. Tree percolators can stand alone, but they’re a popular choice to include in water pipes with multiple percolators. Each arm in a tree percolator contains the 2-3 slits, just like the diffused downstem. Tree percolator arms can range anywhere from 6-12 arms (sometimes more!) with each perc.
    • The MOB Perc 30 features 3 x 10-arm tree percolators giving you a total of 30 arms for optimal percolation!
    • MOB Perc 30
  • Matrix percolators: Matrix percolators, also referred to as stereo matrix percolators, take on the appearance of a birdcage and include holes and slits in the percolator for optimal diffusion and filtration! Matrix percolators are another popular choice in the smoking community due to the radial symmetry they possess, meaning your smoke will be well balanced and filtered while in contact. (AKA - no choppy, drag hits!)

Ash Catchers

Having an ash catcher may seem like an unnecessary piece to include in your water pipe set up, but in all honesty they have a huge influence on the best water pipe smoking experience! Ash catchers are able to catch any fallen dry herb or ash before it makes its way into your water pipe, meaning that the ash and dry herb won’t come into contact with your water and percolator.

By keeping ash and dry herb away from your water pipe and its percolator, the water in the base of the water pipe will be able to function optimally. You also won’t have to worry about your percolators getting clogged with ash, meaning it can operate with full force to diffuse and filtrate your smoke!

There are also different types of ash catchers you can use to help your water pipe hit well! Ash catchers usually fall into two categories: dry ash catchers and percolator ash catchers.

  • Dry ash catchers are a great addition if your water pipe already has more than one percolator.
  • Percolator ash catchers are perfect if your water pipe only has a diffused downstem or one percolator! The more percolation, the better your water pipe hits will be. When your smoke comes into contact with a percolator ash catcher, it’s able to diffuse once before it comes into contact with the percolator in your water pipe. Talk about holy smoothness!

It’s All About the Packing

Packing your slide with dry herb is the most crucial part of smoking from your glass water pipe. Though it may seem like a ‘no brainer,’ how you pack your dry herb makes the best water pipe smoking experience. Cloud 9 Smoke Co suggests to grind your herb first with a dry herb grinder, and then begin the packing process!

To make sure your water pipe hits are good, always pack your slide lightly at the bottom and increase the density, or thickness, of your dry herb as you make your way to the top. By keeping your dry herb light at the bottom of your slide, you’re preventing any clogging or resistance as you toke from your water pipe! This will help reduce the taste of ash with your hits as well.

Technique, Technique, Technique

Say it three times fast! It’s all about technique. Having good water pipe hits is all about mastering the science of hitting a water pipe! It’s definitely not rocket science, but there are key steps to create the perfect water pipe hit.

After you’ve packed your slide with dry herb, grab your lighter and let’s begin toking! Always remember that you are in control of the water pipe; the water pipe is not in control of you.

  1. As you light the dry herb in your slide, place your mouth into the mouthpiece of your water pipe. Not around! We’re not mouthing around a Big Mac, we’re trying to smoke here.
  2. This part is all about sucking, not inhaling. (Save the jokes for the homies!) As your dry herb is burning, begin to suck into the mouthpiece. Your herb will begin to cherry, bubbles will form, and smoke will fill your water pipe. Aha! Success!
  3. Keep your eye on the smoke. This part is totally based on your judgement, tolerance, and lung capacity! Once your water pipe is filled with enough smoke, to your liking of course, get ready to inhale.
  4. Pull the downstem, or just the slide if your downstem is fixed, out of your water pipe and INHALE! Seriously, inhale as much as you humanly can (without hurting yourself of course).
  5. Hold it in. Whether it's for a few seconds or a minute, hold the smoke in. This step allows you to get the most out of your water pipe hit! Remember, we’re trying to enjoy the benefits of dry herb here!
  6. Exhale. Ahh, sweet release! Always make sure to have water close by while smoking from a water pipe. This will help to soothe any coughing or harsh feeling in your throat. Now, you know how to hit a water pipe like a pro!

A Good Water Pipe Hit is All About the Features and Technique

What makes the best water pipe hits are all about the features and technique you put into it! To make sure your water pipe hits are good, utilize the ice pinch and percolator features in your water pipe.

Remember, using ice gives your smoke a final chance to cool to a tolerable temperature so your throat and lungs won’t go ballistic after a hit. When you pack your water pipe with ice, keep it slow and take baby steps! Overfilling your water pipe with ice, or cracking your water pipe because of ice, is definitely not worth it.

Percolators increase the aeration and filtration of our smoke due to the amount of tiny slits and holes a percolator has. By increasing the amount of contact your smoke has with water and air, your smoke will diffuse and filtrate into a smooth, seamless fashion which is a nice fix for your throat! It also reduces the amount of contact our bodies have with the harmful byproducts that come with combusting dry herb.

Throwing an ash catcher into the mix will reduce the amount of fallen herb and ash in your water pipe. If the base of your water pipe has ash and fallen herb mixed into the water, your water won’t be able to function at its best potential! Fallen herb and ash can also clog the holes and slits in your percolator, which means that the percolator won’t be able to work at its full capacity either.

Making sure your slide is packed properly will also help your water pipe hit better! Remember, pack light at the bottom and add density towards the top. This will help to reduce the amount of resistance and clogging. Not to mention, it reduces the amount of ash taste you receive when your herb begins to burn out!

Keeping your technique on top is key to great water pipe hits! Keep in mind that your mouth goes into the water pipe’s mouthpiece, not around. You initially suck before you inhale. Make sure to keep an eye on your smoke as it fills the chamber. When you’re ready to inhale, remove the downstem (or slide if the downstem is fixed) and take your final inhale. After you inhale, hold the smoke in for a few seconds to get the most out of your hit. Then, exhale!

Now that you know how to get the best water pipe hits, you can take on your smoking experience like a professional! Happy toking!

Does the water in our water pipes really make a difference? Here’s an article to learn all about the science and benefits of water in your glass water pipe!

Photo by GRAV 

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