One of the factors that separates the rookies from the pros when it comes to smoking cigars can be the little things like smoke tricks. There are a lot of cool smoke tricks out there, but most of them evolve from the simple smoke ring. We’ve all seen it: the cool guy at the bar or with a group of friends. He drags on whatever he’s smoking, does something with his mouth, and one or more perfect smoke rings comes swirling above his head off towards the ceiling. Ever wonder how to make that happen? Well, look no more, because this is the definitive guide to blowing a smoke ring.
First, though, we need to go over a few housekeeping things to get to blowing rings like a champ:
- Have a cigar that’s full in body with heavy smoke.
- Be in a still location with not much movement in the air.
- Have some friends or people around to impress.
Why are these important? If you’ve a stick with lighter smoke, it won’t have the body it needs to stay together. This is going to be the first thing you need to check off your list to blow rings, and one of the easiest to correct. Second, too much breeze or air disturbance will make it next to impossible to blow any rings. Simply put, the air will make the ring dissipate before the ring has time to fan out a little. Last, unless you’re just practicing, you want people to be around and see the rings you’re blowing. Nothing is more of a letdown than blowing a perfect ring and no one is around to see it.
Now we’re going to get into how they’re made:
First, you need to take a few preparatory puffs on the stick. The foot needs to get pretty hot in order to get you the smoke that you need. Two or three should do it. Then, you’re going to take a drag that’s longer and deeper than normal; still don’t inhale, but you’re going to draw smoke farther back into your throat than you normally would.
This is where it gets tricky. With the smoke in your mouth, draw your tongue towards the back of your throat. You now need to form your lips into the shape they would make when making an “ooh” sound, like in the word “suit.” Don’t just make this with your lips, you have to do it with your whole jaw. Push your tongue forward with a piston-like motion (if you understand how an internal combustion engine works, think a piston like that), and exhale a small sigh or cough. This should yield a puff that starts as a small disk and then will widen and the middle will disappear.
If you stick to it and practice enough, you should be able to blow rings like a pro in no time flat. Some beginners find that flicking or poking their cheeks instead of sighing or exhaling will produce a better ring at first, until you’ve enough practice. Find what works best for you and blow those rings!