It is a common misconception that while 'starting' a hookah, on should 'hit it hard.' This is simply incorrect. Veteran hookah smokers know that the best way is slow.
- Placing coals closer to the center while performing your starting drags can make it easier to start, but must be monitored. This also increases the chances of the tobacco prematurely burning down the center.
- Rotate coals frequently to maintain an even burn.
- If smoke gets stale, blow gently and shortly into the hose. This clears the bowl, but take care not to blow too long or hard, as water will go into the stem and flood your bowl.
- If smoke becomes scorching hot or 'harsh,' simply but carefully remove the bowl by its base and blow into it, thus clearing the bowl.