Re: where does one begin?
ok as far as a hookah goes I would say don't get anything smaller then a 26". The longer the shaft/stem of the hookah, the coole the smoke is going to be when it gets to the water. I would say get an egyptian 26" or 28" right off the bat, no such thing as a starter hookah really lol.
A lot of people like Syrian hookahs, they're great but from what I've seen they're a little more money but smoke the same.
As far as coals quick lights like 3 Kings and so on are ok, but they burn a lot hotter (which can create a problem of burning the tobacco which is horrible) and can create a taste of their own threw the tobacco while your smoking. really natural coals are the way to go. I was really say start off with a box of Exotica coals. they're narutals, no flavor of their own and are uniformed in shape. But they have to be heated by torch or on the stove. Coco Nars are another uniform shapped but they're a little more money then Exotica and really the same thing. All and all with coals Exotica is the best bang for the buck.
Chunk naturals are good but they're so oddly shaped they can be a total pain in the @$$ to deal with when it comes to heating them and putting them on the bowl and so on.
Tobacco is really a personal thing. If you're looking for a buzz and a lot of flavor, I would say go for Naklha, they have a large choise of flavors and they're the cheapest brand. Also it's really the traditional brand for Hookah smoking. this shisha is called "unwashed" because the tobacco isn;t soaked or rinsed out before it is made into shisha. Al Waha is also an unwashed shisha.
But if no buzz and just flavor is your thing Al Faker IMO would be the way to go. this is a washed shisha so if there is a buzz it will be a lot less heavy then something like Naklah.
Selecting a bowl is also an issue. You never want a bowl that is to small and I would say stay away from a bowl with a conver attached.
Large egyptian is really the way to go IMO. the bowl size will help or sometimes cause burning. So -large egyptian...
So IMO the way to get started is...
Hookah - 26" to 28" egyptian hookah
Coals - Exotica (hands down)
Shisha - Al Faker and or Naklha
Bowl - Large Egyptian
And always use foil over the bowl, screens are a total scam IMO.
Go though this forum, it's awesome for info. Everything i know about hookah 90% of it is from this forum top of the form screen you'll see video. Watch those that will also help you.