Helix Basic Bubbler from Grav Labs
In some ways, the bubbler feels almost antiquated. With personalized vaporizers and gourmet pre-rolls readily available, the need for padded cases to protect glassware and ziplock bags full of rubbing alcohol to battle resin demons is downright passé. Perhaps the truth is not that bubblers as devices have run their course, but rather that the way we smoke cannabis has evolved to more accurately reflect our modern times.
Pocketing a bubbler on your way into a concert or toting it around as you wander about a house party carries little appeal. Bubblers are for chipped coffee tables and burning through the entire third season of Family Guy on DVD while you eat leftover pizza. In short: Bubblers were for me inextricably linked to high school and its lazy Saturdays of inaction and school-day lunchtime dashes to get in a bowl. Then I spent some time with Helix’s Basic Bubbler.
Impeccably simple in its design, Grav Labs Helix Classic Bubbler takes the bubbler add-on and permanently fuses it into a powerful piece of glass.
For those unfamiliar with Grav Labs and their Helix line, the core appeal is a chamber built upon Bernoulli’s “Principle of Air Flow in a Venturi Shape.” If those words feel overwhelming, don’t worry. Basically the concept boils down to a wide base in the airflow chamber that tapers to a point, allowing cold air to spiral with the entering hot smoke. Together the two create a venturi form, cooling the smoke and creating a deliciously cool and smooth hit.
After experimenting with how much water to use — the Helix does have a notch for recommended water level, but I like to live dangerously — I put a pinch of flower into the bowl and gave it a whirl. One thing about bubblers that brings me back to high school are the brutal coughs they can sometimes encourage. Taking such a large quantity of smoke can torch your throat, but with the Helix, the smoke is much cooler (and thus infinitely more pleasurable).
There’s little to critique about the Helix given its simplicity and defined purpose of use. I of course opted not to drop my unit on the ground to test the strength of its glass, but like all glassware, the risk of breaking your precious cargo is always to be considered.
Another minor downside is that you may smoke too much. I know.
OK, I’m waiting for you to stop laughing. You finished? As silly as it sounds, having the cooler smoke makes cashing a bowl in a single hit entirely within reason. To say nothing of your constitution and interest in feeling the effects of entire bowl in one breath, flower is likely to go quickly, especially if you’ve got a few friends to share your session with.
I think what I enjoy most about the Helix is that it brings me back to a special place. The high produced by a bubbler is matched only by other glassware, a medium for smoking I have long since strayed away from. It’s a heavy way to ingest, but a great choice when the moment is right.
It’s also been many moons since I last attended a science class, so further credit to Grav Labs for giving me a reason to Google “Venturi Principle” and learn a little something. The design of the airflow chamber and the rounded claws that allow the bubbler to sit comfortably on a flat surface between uses are both major pluses as well. Overall, the Helix is a solid product at a reasonable price point ($67.99 on Billowby) that is well worth reaching through your nostalgia and into your wallet for.
Photo Courtesy of GravLabs