1) Turn the bowl upside down (after placing on foil w/ holes or a screen) and blow thru it before placing on the stem. Loosens up the shisha and makes sure of a good airflow, as well as pushes the foil back off the shisha.
2) Repack/store shisha in airtight containers (ziplock bags, tupperware, ect). Store it away from heat, sunlight, and excess moisture. You do not have to store shisha in the fridge, but if you do make sure the container is 100% airtight as the fridge will remove as much moisture as it can, ruining the tobacco.
3) Ice in the base is good, but fill up the base with water first. Dropping cold ice into a glass container can cause it to break. In the same vein, don't put hot bowls in cold water, they can crack. Also try chilling the stem and/or base for an extra kick.
4) Remember - NEVER wash a hose unless your sure it's washable.
5) Always wash your hookah, either between different flavors of shisha or atleast every 3-4 smokes. It can make the world of difference between a good smoke and a GREAT smoke. (Or a nasty smoke). Plus, when washing it - try NOT to use any items that you can not drink or eat - Lemon juice, vinegar, salt, beer = GOOD. Bleach, CLR, Ammonia = NOT GOOD. If you use them - rinse, rinse, and rinse again.
6) Open your shisha atleast 10-30 mins before packing the bowl, or atleast let the bowl rest (packed) for the same amount of time to acclimate the shisha to the surrounding temps & humidity. This can make or break a smoking session.
7) If you feel lightheaded, sick to your stomach, or start getting a headache: stop chaining the hookah
. But really, put down the hose, go get something to drink (water, tea, juice, soda) and maybe something to munch (chips, sandwich, fruit, cookies). Get some O2 into your body. Hookah is meant to be taken nice and slow, enjoyed and savored. It's not a speed contest, you're not meant to puff on the hose the entire 1-2 hours, slow down, taste the smoke and relax.