Put water in the base. Put shisha in the bowl. Wrap the bowl with foil. Poke a bunch of small holes in the foil. Put one of those charcoal things on top. Light the charcoal. Wait a few minutes for it to heat up. Smoke away.
You may be best going to youtube or somewhere for the mechanics of how to use a hookah and come back when you're ready to start playing with your own blends for it. Its something that may be best observed rather than described.
And by the way, what exact online resources do you guys usually use for getting your smoking pipes or hookah? Or maybe even shisha for the smoking? I'm not an expert, but it looks like here is (***PM @dale13h for a link***) one of the best online stores I could find about hookah. Any other suggestions from you?
Greeting everyone, in case anyone needs help on this I figured I would share.
Important names - Arguileh is the device (aka hookah), it consists of the metal body and pipe, hose inlet, head inlet, and air outlet (some do not have an outlet those are generally for a special type of shisha called "3ajameh", it is the O.G style that many old men smoke, just a ring of pure tobacco with a coal on top- it's sort of like smoking a carton of cigarettes in one sitting). Shisha is the tobacco. The "head" is the small, generally clay component that you pack that shisha into. Water bowl self-explanatory. Additionally, where I'm from people use the term "drink" instead of "smoke".
Pack the shisha into the head - fairly straightforward but you will know when you pack too tight.
Cover head with aluminum foil (shiny facing down - I don't think it matters but certain people are superstitious about it), and poke a FEW very small holes into it.
Heat the coals over the stove, or instalight (although I feel it leaves a bad flavour).
Make sure the water is about a reasonable level in the bowl, too much and it will feel heavy to drink, too little and it will feel too light/smoky.
Place 2-3 coals in a triangle formation close to the edge - never in the middle as you will just end up inhaling coal smoke.
Let the coals sit and bring the tobacco to heat for 5 minutes or so, if you drink too quickly after placing the coals, they will be too hot and burn the shisha. This can ruin a whole head! (not really but you will have to power through an unpleasant taste for a while)
Flip the coals from time to time and clean off the dust.
The biggest mistake people make is making too many, or too big of holes on the aluminum foil. This will let too much oxygen on the bottom of the coal and burn it faster, which makes it too hot and will burn you shisha. You really don't want many holes, I use maybe 20 extremely small ones on a smaller head.
It is too harsh -
Shisha is burning, take the coals off to let them and the shisha cool down. Check if you have too many holes in the head wrap.
It is too light and very small clouds/ little flavour -
It is not hot enough! Turn the coals to side where they're burning.
Bad draw -
Check hose and arguileh for leaks
Adjust water level
Check outlet filter is not jammed or wide open, there should be a small pinball there it can get stuck.
You will know when it is in a good state if you can inhale deeply without it feeling harsh, and there is water vapor filling in the water bowl.
For flavours it is best apple for men, and mint for women. Besides that is not very good honestly.