“You’ve got to season it like a cast iron pan,” he said.
No, we weren’t sautéing leeks and kale in the kitchen. We were, however, hovering around the group’s designated connoisseur smoker as a pungent, earthy smell filled the living room. Said connoisseur clutched a bong made of ash wood in his hands, a handmade “Curved Tower Bong” from Poland.
The earthy odor? Hay that had been plucked from local meadows and placed in a wooden bespoke box that the bong came in. That box was now splayed open on the floor, the instruction manual tossed next to it.
Don’t worry, we read it, but jotted down the shit you really want to know.
Does this wooden bong rip as well as glass bongs?
Well, yes but not right away. Unlike a glass or plastic bong, you’ve got to season the bong like a cast iron skillet by lighting up the wood in 3-4 sessions to create a protective layer or “cake” against high temperatures. Also, once you’ve filled the bowl with greens, don’t pull the stem as it’s actually part of the entire pipe. Instead, you press on the small hole on the side as you inhale.
Each rip gets gradually woodier with each hit, a nice subtlety you can’t get with glass. However, to get the same rip as you would a glass bong, you’ve got to suck on that mouthpiece like Ulysses S. Grant was on the other side.
Does it leak?
Yes, we made the mistake of leaving the bong out while it was still filled and soon a pool of bong water surrounded the base. To avoid this, empty the pipe after each session to avoid it from leaking. C’mon, it’s not that hard. Plus, there’s snacks next to the kitchen sink.
How do you take care of it?
Remember, water causes wood to swell and crack, so again, don’t leave the bong immersed in water for prolonged periods of time.
When you clean it, just rinse it with cold water and dry it at room temperature. Avoid placing it near sources of heat, which can cause it to crack as well. To prevent water traces, rub plant oil on the pipe every third or fourth session.
In the end, the tasty woody flavor may be worth the extra love you’ve got to put into a wooden bong. Those who can barely commit to washing their pocket-sized bubbler once a year, however, may want to consider sticking to glass.
Wooden Blast Curved Tower Bong, $65