AS GREAT as vaporizers are (see "The Great Vape-Off," pg. 4), sometimes you don't feel like being healthy. Sometimes you want to smoke like an OG stoner, and OG stoners don't use vaporizers. They use bongs.
You remember bongs, right? "Water pipes," if you are making a purchase at a head shop. Pipes that use water to filter and clean the smoke inhaled through them, which can range from a simple old school model retailing for under $30 to multi percolator showerhead units that filter the water in more ways than you can count, which can easily top $400. If that's too spendy, you can build your own, with or without the assistance of self-evidently titled books like Build This Bong.
With a bong, because you can inhale a greater concentrated amount of smoke that has been cooled and hydrated, you get a bigger hit and ostensibly more THC. Those benefits are offset by the very common experience of knocking a bong over and drenching your favorite belongings in dirty bong water. Bong hits can also make you cough so hard it feels like one of your lungs is being expelled through your nose.
Having heard there was an extra smooth-hitting line of water pipes that I had yet to try, I sought out Dave Goldstein, the man behind the Rooster Apparatus. I met with him in February, the day after he had received a US patent on the technology employed in his line of glass water pipes for flower and concentrates. Goldstein obtained his patent in part by demonstrating through scientific studies using tobacco that his "fritted glass" diffusers reduced carcinogens and particulate matter by 10 percent. The apparatus also uses a second disc to pre-filter the smoke through an ash catcher before it enters into the bowl with the water. It's a genius design, and smoke passing through the diffusing discs is cooled and cleaned rapidly and thoroughly.
He loaned me a Rooster Apparatus bong intended for flower, and I've used it with a variety of patients and friends, but the majority of his models are for oils and concentrates. The first thing you notice is the coughing—there isn't any. The magic fritters do their job extremely well, and outperformed a three-level percolator bong I own.
At a friend's housewarming last month, I brought it along. A fellow guest eagerly asked if it was a "Rooster Bong," which I confirmed. He lamented that he had been on the hunt for one for months, but that they were notoriously difficult to find. I packed up bowls of a few strains so he and his friends could try it out. After his first exhale, he solemnly said, "I'm getting one of these."
For $325 you can get the model I used through the outlets listed on roosterapparatus.com, as Dave doesn't sell them directly to the public. You'll make new friends at parties with your smooth-ass bong hits. But you're still fucked if that thing tips over.