Are you a straight or bent bit/stem person?

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Aussiemike

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I am just asking as I have been smoking some of my favorite straight pipes lately and it could be because I'm a slack yaw dude but the straights fall out of my mouth regularly if I am doing stuff. Usually drops ash on my "smoking tshirt" with no bother. I am just a bent bit fan as it just feels right in my mouth. I'm not really a clencher (unless I was a passenger while with timbo was at the wheel):LOL: but if I clench a straight it sometimes falls out. I pretty much only enjoy the bent bits on my rotation now.
Just would like to know your preferences.
 
Can't say I have a preference. A couple of my favorite feeling pipes are both Charatans, with 16th bent stems on pipes normally seen as straight designs. One is a prince, and the other is a handmade billiard. So I guess I do have a thing for crooked straight pipes. Oh, and I do like my Legend cob that is similar in being a slight bent.
 
I am just asking as I have been smoking some of my favorite straight pipes lately and it could be because I'm a slack yaw dude but the straights fall out of my mouth regularly if I am doing stuff. Usually drops ash on my "smoking tshirt" with no bother. I am just a bent bit fan as it just feels right in my mouth. I'm not really a clencher (unless I was a passenger while with timbo was at the wheel):LOL: but if I clench a straight it sometimes falls out. I pretty much only enjoy the bent bits on my rotation now.
Just would like to know your preferences.
I like a slightly bent, like 1/4. The draw is too compressed in my opinion, but I like the ease of seeing the bowl for lights. I used to have 20+. At that time, I had maybe 3 straights, a few past 1/4 and the rest quarter bent
 
I am just asking as I have been smoking some of my favorite straight pipes lately and it could be because I'm a slack yaw dude but the straights fall out of my mouth regularly if I am doing stuff. Usually drops ash on my "smoking tshirt" with no bother. I am just a bent bit fan as it just feels right in my mouth. I'm not really a clencher (unless I was a passenger while with timbo was at the wheel):LOL: but if I clench a straight it sometimes falls out. I pretty much only enjoy the bent bits on my rotation now.
Just would like to know your preferences.
I started liking bents at first, and still do, but find I have a tendency to let the bit rest more on my tongue sometimes resulting in more irritation. I have to consciously avoid this, so it's a little less relaxing.
 
I started this game with an immediate affinity for pipes with a bend. And at first I was enamored with freehand shapes over the "boring" traditional shapes. At the beginning, even the idea that a 3/4 bent billiard could be a desirable shape was foreign - my eye was on the big Danish freehands. This is an arc that I was told by a pipe shop owner that is common for a pipester to follow - many of us as young pipe men are drawn to exotic/creative/out of the box shapes at first but as time passes and our tastes develop and mature, often the evolving pipester is drawn back to the traditional shapes after exploring freehand shapes or shapes that tend to riff on the trad shapes and their endless variations. As time passed I acquired a straight apple here, a straight billy there - which is funny because at the start my eye could just not get to the place of being able to admire the lines of a straight vs the lines of a bent. Especially if it was a "boring" billiard shape. The majority of my 20 or so briars are bent so I guess you could say from a macro level I tend to lean towards the bent. Which is fitting, somehow lol.

Overall, I would venture to say I have very much learned to enjoy both bent and straights - with the enjoyment coming from the noticing of the differences. There is a lot of subtlety and nuance to pipe smoking. I find the variation of pipe shapes to be endlessly fascinating and literally commanding its own sphere of enjoyment. I love approaching the pipe shelf and asking myself - which pipe FEELS right... for today, for my mood, for this moment. And I have found a certain growth and maturity in my ability to appreciate the different design cues and stylistic choices a pipe maker employs. I sometimes think how boring it would be if I was limited to just smoking bents, or just smoking straights. I get a lot of satisfaction from smoking both - the comparison by juxtaposition reveals hidden strengths and weaknesses in a pipe's design, as well as highlights my own preference for noticing the degree of difference in hand feel, smoking characteristics, a pipe's "character", ability to dangle and/or clench, the way a particular pipe's lines can please the eye, the hand, and the palate today, but it'll be a different pipe that hits those marks tomorrow. (Based on solar flare gradients and the relative super positioning of the planets at that exact moment) To sum this little ramble up, the freedom of choice is indeed freeing.
 
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