Re: New to Hookahs... FAIL after FAIL...need adive...
Dude I really can't think of what you're doing wrong.
When I got my AF Hookah, they forgot to toss in the ball bearing for the purge valve, which effectively rendered the hookah useless. Also forgot a hose grommet, but you seem to have all that stuff and supposedly the hookah is airtight. Before you put the bowl on, have you covered the top of the stem with your thumb and tried inhaling with the hose? You should be getting zero air.