The roor is a bong. It is not, however, like 80% of the other bongs I have smoked in that it isnt built like a toy. Further, it is separated from the other 20% in that it is built like chemistry equipment as opposed to art. Now dont get me wrong, I'm all in support of handblown glass and it is definitely the most attractive and expressive kind of paraphenalia, but I'm talking performance here. a few of the basic selling points:

  • It's available in 4 different sizes (though I've only seen the ones with red or black writing in local head shops here in the USA)
  • Each of the 4 sizes is available in 3 different grades (thicknesses, basically) of glass (which explains some of the price variation in seemingly identical ones in stores)
  • They come with little glass "screens" which are shaped like jacks (you know the game where you bounce the ball and try to pick up as many jacks as possible before catching it again), which works very well because they dont get messy like metal screens and when they do get sufficiently resinated you can just set them in the bowl and burn it off with ease
  • The stem/bowl are both made of glass and are both very easily cleaned with warm water, soap and a little brush. The stem is very easily removed from the actual bong, but has a perfect rubber seal when placed in the bong. The bowl fits into the stem by way of chafed (or frosted or whatever), opaque glass (exactly like the stuff they use for chemistry flasks and their glass lids), which works incredibly well. (* sidenote: in the German manufactured ones the stem fits into the bong by way of the same mechanism as between the bowl/stem and not the rubber seal, but I've only heard about them being sold in the USA once)
  • The bong itself is probably somewhere around 30 inches tall, and just a simple straight cylinder with a saucer-like base and a little protrusion at the bottom where the stem fits in (much better explained by a picture...).
Now onto the personal testimony and performance...

The three most important things when considering a piece for me are (in order) how it smokes, how it looks, and how easy it is to clean. In the first regard, the roor outperforms any other bong I've smoked. I'm really not sure what it is about it, but you can pull bigger, denser hits off a roor than any other bong of its size (it even rivals the 5 foot bong i have the use of). Not only can you pull bigger hits, but you can actually take bigger hits. You can regulate the density of the hit by pulling the bowl out slightly to let a bit more air in (made very simple and precise with the chemistry seal). Also, you can hit it at just about any angle when you have the right amount of water in it, and it doesnt affect the hit at all.

As far as looks go, I've seen more artistic pieces (obviously), but the roor is hardly an eyesore. It looks solid and once you've hit it, you appreciate its presence on the coffee table a whole lot.

Ease of cleaning is another point where the roor exceeds all other bongs I've owned. Because it's such a simple design, it's really easy to just rinse out with warm water in the sink, and with the addition of soap and a big bong brush (found in any self respecting head shop for under $10), it can be restored to as good as new in about 5 minutes. Even better, you dont have to clean it very often. It doesnt have much water in it (i'd guess about a 1/2 cup) and you can see the water very clearly from the outside so you know exactly how filthy it is, which makes for good incentive to change it regularly (we generally change ours once every couple of bowlpacks), and when you keep that up, the bong doesnt get dirty at all.

Another of my personal favorite things about it is the sound it makes when you hit it... because there's so little water there, it doesnt make that gurgling bubble noise, but rather a sound that can only be described as a "roar." Once you've heard it, the sound is unmistakable. The thought makes my mouth water... :D I only hope I've done justice to the roor with my description.

Overview

The ROOR bong has its roots in the late 1980s, created by glass blower Martin Birzle. A modern line of hand-blown water pipes, the ROOR brand has built its success on a strong foundation of intelligent design – combining sleek, minimalist form with unprecedented functionality.

Construction

ROOR bongs separate themselves from conventional acrylic and glass bongs in that they are constructed completely of the purest scientific grade borosilicate glass - no rubber components are used in the joints, (as mentioned to the contrary in this node), at least as far back as I'm aware. Rubber expands and contracts quite a bit over time, gradually deteriorating, and as such, is prone to creating an uneven seal. ROOR's method of creating glass-on-glass joints guarantees a comparatively even, air-tight seal, capable of withstanding the tests of time and the tests of a good session.

Furthermore, with glass available as thick as 7mm throughout the pipe, damage from the introduction of extremely hot water, or the occasional knock on the table/sink/etc. (a frequent, if not unavoidable consequence of regular use and cleaning) is hardly a concern. This added material undoubtedly adds to the cost, but then, quality always does have its price, and many would agree that when taking all the advantages of owning a fine ROOR water pipe into consideration, that price is extremely reasonable.

Not that I’d ever actually … I mean … I couldn’t afford …

ROORs are made in a variety of sizes, ranging from 24cm to 55cm in height, and 31mm to 67mm in diameter. They come in two form factors – erlenmeyer (resembling, of course, an erlenmeyer flask) and cylinder (with a straight tube and flattened, saucer-shaped base). While the Erlenmeyer has more air and water capacity than a cylinder of relative size, the cylinder allows for a quicker, often denser toke – ultimately, one’s preference regarding form is entirely that of personal taste, as neither design is inherently “better” than the other. In addition to bongs, ROOR also manufactures a series of handheld water pipes, all abiding by the same intelligent design principles as their larger counterparts – the lowest end pipe a pocket-sized piece only 17cm tall, and the flagship pipe an arching 25cm-tall, cleverly designed piece, aptly named the "Flying Vergoldet”.

ROOR's are manufactured in the US and Germany-–the US-made pipes can be purchased at many American headshops, while the German-made pipes can be found around Europe, namely Germany and the UK. A select few retailers exist in the UK that will allow for the sale of German-made ROORs in the US, which are of undoubtedly higher caliber than their American cousins, and considerably less expensive. After having smoked a variety of US and German ROORs, the quality of the German-made bongs can be easily seen as superior, observable not only in the smoothness of operation, but also in the strength and precision of glass blowing. This being said, any ROOR, US or German-made, is a fine investment for the herbal connoisseur, as one can easily take pride in owning a pipe that resides in the upper crust of smoking apparatus, enthusiastically recognized by heads across the globe.


Some information gathered from the following websites:

  • www.roor-bongs.co.uk
  • www.roor.de

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