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Does anyone have a gourd Calabash? What do you think of it?


Well-known member
I’m the one with the Baki @WalkinStick.

I love my calabash. It’s the coolest smoking pipe I own, better than my churchwardens. Like Spill said, it’s definitely unwieldy. I’m a clencher most of the time so I don’t reach for my calabash unless I have time to sit and enjoy a pipe, but every time I’ve reached for it I’ve had a great smoke. The draw does feel a little tight, but I got used to it.

It has a tendency to tone down blends. If what you’re smoking is very subtle, I wouldn’t probably reach for a calabash. But if you’re smoking a stronger blend it goes great.

I think every pipe smoker should have one calabash. In summary, you probably won’t have many other pipes that smoke as well but it’s a very situational pipe.

Here’s my Baki with a couple other meers for size comparison.


Well-known member
Great thread.

This is a wish-list pipe for me.
But comments from owners have always pushed a gourd calabash further down the wish-list.

Neither my smoking style nor my pipe budget handles "unwieldy" or "impractical" very well.
I can't justify an expensive pipe that only gets used a few times a year at most.
Could not agree more. In fact I tend to go the other direction and lean towards pokers due to the fact I never sit still. But a Calabash would be really cool to own.


Well-known member
So when you guys say held up do you mean zero leakage? Because I can smoke mine pretty well but there definitely is some leaking.
I made my calabash from a kit I got from Vermont Freehand. I had pretty significant leakage at first -- it was smokable, but definitely some leaking. I redid the cork and used some cs adhesive to seal between the cork and the gourd to make sure that was well sealed and then did some very light sanding of the meer insert to have a slight taper for a better fit against the cork, and now, while not a complete vacuum, it's pretty close and I have to draw pretty hard to have air come in with the bowl covered. I offer this just to suggest that it might be a cork seal problem, based on my very limited experience.

And to respond to the OP, I love the calabash. It's just a different experience. But like others, I seldom use it because it is a long smoke and you have to be able to sit with it -- just don't have the opportunity very often, especially since I am an outdoor smoker, and winter limits me even more. But I am definitely glad I have it for when I do get a chance to smoke it!
I got mine as a gift from our carpenter. He bought it in the 70’s and barely smoked it. The seal is still good, a little petroleum jelly seemed to be the answer to tighten it up. It’s a great smoke, cool, dry, mines pretty open. A different experience. I haven’t used it much but I do very much enjoy it when I have the chance. Situational is the word for it. image.jpg