a good roach
is as much of an art as rolling a good joint
, but is often overlooked by even frequent smoker
s. There are many types of roach other than the classic spiral. These roaches leave less cardboard through which to smoke and therefore make the joint easier to toke
, they also look cool and can be something of a party trick
First of all a word on roach paper. If it is possible where you live buy a roach booklet! Roach booklets contain a variety of sizes and shapes of a cardboard with a perfect density for rolling. If a roach booklet is not available look for a light cardboard like a cinema ticket or a price tag from an item of clothing. It is important to lick the roach paper all over until it becomes malleable. This lets it hold a complex shape without unrolling. There are three main types of roach:
The Hollow Roach: When I was at college we used to roll joints using bits of lollypop sticks as hollow roach (this was around the same time we rolled “menthol cigarettes” with tobacco and crushed-up Polos…); this actually worked pretty well, but rolling joints with them was difficult as there is little friction between lollypop stick and rolling paper, making it hard to tuck the paper in. Hollow roaches are the easiest way to make a joint easier to toke, although it may allow too much airflow causing too hot a smoke. The amount of airflow is easily controllable, however, by changing the diameter of the roach. To roll a hollow roach simply fold the end of the roach paper over so it meets the middle and then roll the roach as a spiral. This should give you an open cylinder with a few rolls of paper around the outside
The S Roach: This is an easy roach to roll to impress your friends, and the roach I find gives the perfect level of airflow. I was taught how to roll this joint a few years ago by a friend from Isleham, and now I seldom roll a joint without one. The S is formed by folding a few millimetres of roach paper over and pressing it flat. Rolling the roach as a spiral in the opposite direction to the fold leaves a cylinder of roach with an S at its’ centre.
The M Roach: This is a very hard roach to roll, and one that I have only seen in pre-rolled joints in Amsterdam. It is a modification of the hollow roach with an M at the centre. Rolling this roach is pretty much guaranteed to impress fellow stoners. However this roach does has similar airflow problems to a hollow roach, with the added problem that it must have quite a large diameter for the M to be visible (and rollable!). Take an extra long piece of roach paper and fold an M shape at the end of it (this should leave an M shaped roach paper with a long left-hand side). Roll the roach up in the opposite direction to the M, just like rolling an S roach. The middle of the M should come down to the centre of the cylinder and the sides of the M must both be the same length. As the roach is rolled push the sides of the M outwards so that they follow the contour of the roach. The roach paper must be long enough that you can spiral paper around the M three of four times to stop it the roach unrolling.