“Set your goals HIGH, and don’t stop till you get there!”- Bo Jackson
The former professional football and baseball star couldn’t be more right. This applies to football, all other sports, and life in general.

It also applies to taking a fat rip of Grand Daddy Purple from a water pipe.

As we open our doors to more newcomers this year, we want to do our best in educating our growing family and friends about some of the basics when it comes to smoking cannabis.

This week, we want to shine a spotlight on one of the classic methods of enjoying weed: bongs.

Many people don’t remember their first time hitting a bong. That’s probably because bongs do one job, and they do it very well. They get you higher than Felix Baumgartner jumping from the stratosphere.

People use bongs because they are efficient, you can control the amount of flower that is burned, and there is very little plant matter waste. There’s also water involved, so it’s kind of like a cool science project. Except you get really high and there’s no poster-board or Styrofoam involved.

But with great power, comes great responsibility. Many people, new and experienced alike, have made the mistake of forgetting how to properly rip a bong. No one likes the tasting bong water.

Like most things, there’s a right way and wrong way.

Without further ado, here is our 5-step guide to hitting a bong like a champ.

Step 1: Prepare Your Bong
Before you get started, you need to prepare your bong materials. Make sure everything is in place (weed, grinder, clean water, munchies, drinking water, remote control, etc.), so you don’t have to keep getting up.

For a bong to do its job, it needs to have water. You should use clean water (especially with guests, don’t use that dirty bong water that’s been sitting there for days).

The recommended amount will vary from bong to bong as there are different sizes. A good level of water is enough to where your downstem (the bottom of the small piece you light the cannabis from) is slightly below water, about ½ an inch. Use a finger for reference.

Don’t put too much water in your bong. You aren’t supposed to “fill it up.” This will cause splashing and may cause you to swallow bong water. We aren’t going swimming here — leave your life vest at home.

Fill your bong with just enough water where the downstem is about ½ inch below sea-level.

Step 2: Pack Your Bowl
You’ve put water in your bong, and now you’re ready for the most important ingredient: the weed itself.

This is what partly makes bongs so great — you don’t have to pack more than you want to smoke. Some people (champions) will clear the entire bowl in one hit. Others may take half of the greens and save the other half for the next friend in rotation.

Either way, pack your weed into the bowl. It is recommended to grind your weed first, for a smoother and more even hit. Don’t be impatient — bongs are for enjoying your weed on your time. Grind your greens and then pack them with love.

Break your weed into smaller nugs and place them into the grinder. Pack your ground-up weed into the bong bowl.

Step 3: Light The Fire
Now the fun part. You get to play with fire.
But before doing so, make sure that you and your bong are in a comfortable position. Some people prefer having the bong on a flat surface in front of them, while others will just hold it in their lap. We recommend placing it on a flat surface so your hands are free.

You are going to use your free hand to light your bowl, while having your mouth on the mouthpiece to inhale, which will draw in the flames, igniting your weed and filling the bong chamber with delicious weed smoke.

Get comfortable, put your mouth on the mouthpiece, and hold your lighter to the stem to ignite your weed.

Step 4: Inhale Slowly
You’ve got your mouth on the mouthpiece (your lips should be inside), lighter over the bowl, and you now spark your lighter.

At the same time you light your weed, you will inhale slowly. We recommend taking some deep breaths before doing so, so that you have plenty of oxygen for a nice, long inhale.

As you inhale, the weed is burned, filtered through the water chamber, and now fills your bong and lungs with the sweet clouds of sticky icky goodness.

When you have burned up all of the weed (or your portion), remove the bowl with your lighter hand and finish inhaling the remaining smoke in the chamber.

This is called “clearing” the bong — something champs do.

Step 5: Exhale Slowly
You’ve just cleared the bong and now it’s time to exhale and release the smoke. As always, do so slowly in a controlled fashion — this will help limit coughing. Be calm and collected and release that skunky vapor into the community space.

Congratulations! You did it. You just hit the bong like a champ. And if you didn’t, well, just listen to Billy Jean King: “Champions keep playing until they get it right.”

Now that you are on cloud nine, enjoy yourself. But don’t forget proper weed etiquette — if there are still greens, replace the bowl and pass the bong to your friend on the left and only the left.

Really want to impress your friends?

Here are some tips.
• Place ice cubes in the bong chamber — it will make for a cooler and smoother rip that tastes fresh and makes it easier on the lungs.
• When inhale and exhale, do so in a slow rhythm. It will help limit your coughing and give you more control.
• Replace bong water after every session with clean water — no one likes dirty, musky weed water. Take care of yourself and your friends!
• Grind your weed — don’t place raw flower in the bowl. This makes for a more even burn.
• Clean your bong (and stem) regularly. She takes care of you. You take care of her.

That concludes our guide to ripping a bong like a champ!
Just remember: “Rule number 76. No excuses. Play like a champion.”
Now get out there and play like a champion. You’ll impress your friends and win new ones over.