This is the part of the smoking culture where we all get stuck on etymology. In popular lingo today roaches and tips are sometimes used interchangeably. A roach can mean one of two things:
1. The left over part of an unfiltered joint that is too small to be smoked, or
2. The filter tip that is used for easy joint smoking
Let’s talk about filter tips though. A filter tip is used to give a rolled joint stability and not have it fall apart while smoking. Filter tips are still essentially hard pieces of paper which take care of this. This is the same tightly rolled up piece of cardboard you used in college to keep your joint together. A piece of cardboard is still acceptable as a filter tip for a joint, but it’s about time we graduated.
The tips you can get today come in a huge variety of sizes and types which can be bewildering at first. For instance, Raw puts out a line of plain tips, perforated tips, cone tips, pre-rolled tips, gummed tips and wide tips. Elements has the same range of tips, but made of a different material. Cyclone goes one step beyond one-time paper based tips and manufactures wooden tips which are quite a style, not to mention practical and reusable.
All of the above are simple items and the variety simply comes down to taste and preference. We’ll explore how to roll a filter tip in 3 easy steps below. Perforated tips work best if you’re doing this as a novice, or if you’re just too lazy to be bothered. Since we fall into the latter category as well, we’ll demonstrate on perforated tips.
Step 1 – Zig and Zag the dotted line
Perforated tips are meant for easy rolling. Take the perforated end and fold it over the creases one over the other. The result should be a sort of W (or double W depending on how many perforations you have).
Step 2 – Roll up the other side
Roll up the non-perforated end of the tip towards the W you created in Step 1. The width of the roll you make depends purely on personal preference. If you’re rolling a ‘fat’ joint, you should give a wide berth in your rolling, otherwise wind it up tight. Raw especially manufactures wide tips for rolling up fat joints. When rolling up the other end, go all the way up to the W, but stop there.
Step 3 – Back it up
Once you have rolled the plain end up to the W, roll the W end back to the plain end. The rolling on both sides ensures that your tip will remain rolled and will not come undone while smoking. That is pretty much it. All that is left is to roll a joint over your tip and smoke up.
In case you don’t have perforated tips, just fold one end of the plain tip to make a W just as you would in a perforated tip. Even if all you have is a piece of cardboard, the same steps apply.
If you don’t want to get into the hassle of rolling a tip every time you roll a joint, just buy a wooden tip. This looks classy, feels natural and easy against your fingers, and is reusable till the point you don’t accidently set fire to the thing.
There are smokers out there who look at tips disdainfully. We hear you people! An unfiltered joint has its own challenges and roaches are what you have to deal with. Never fear, we will keep you posted on clever stuff to do with your roaches. For the rest of you, go check out some cool filter tips at OutOnTrip!