Hey guys hope your well. Just thought i would write this for the new members of our community. This post is based more on the choosing of your first pipe and tobacco, it isnt the be all and end all this is just my take on choosing your first pipe and tobacco. So you decide you want to take up pipe smoking, thats clear enough and thats the easy part. Now actually choosing your first pipe and tobacco can be a nightmare but with a little research it can be an easy ride. First of all you want a pipe, now they are hundreds of pipes available out there suitable for all budgets, from cobs, to briar, to system pipes to meerschaums etc etc. My first pipe was a cob, a missouri meerschaum legend if memory serves correctly, now these pipes are fantastic, they smoke well, and are very good for tasting tobaccos as they dont ghost or withhold flavours from tobaccos like briar can (more on that later). Also they are good in the respect that if you find you dont like pipe smoking your not going to be majorly out of pocket, but if you do find you like pipe smoking have abo0ut five or six cobs around for tasting different types of tobacco, then when your more certain that you like particular groups of tobaccos, if you wish then move onto the more expensive briar models, or just stay were you are with cobs as they themselves are brilliant pipes. Now aesthetics are next into the mix, some people dont particularly care for a pretty pipe, as long as it is a good smoker and it does the job, then thats all that matters. I myself dont go for overly eye pleasing pipes, as i would rather have a good smoker than a pretty useless smoking pipe. Now in the world of briar, the price can often skyrocket the better the pipe looks and also with the makers name. For instance a dunhil pipe (although pretty i myself wouldnt buy one unless i won the lottery), you will be lucky to find a brand new one here in england for less than 200 pounds, i smoke falcons, and they cost me round abouts 30 pounds and i find they smoke beautifully. What im saying here is if you see say a dr grabow pipe for $30 or a dunhil for $300, dont get suckered into thinking that because it is ten times the price dont think it will smoke ten times better. Obviously im not saying stay away from higher end pipes, you may and i certainly desire one, but i cant justify paying the price when i have something for a tenth of the price that smokes beautifully. But if you dont want to start out on cobs they are many budget briars out there available, But if your choosing the budget briar road, my best advice would be to go to a tobacconist for this, dont pick up the cheap chinese knock offs from ebay or markets, as often these arent briar but different inferior woods that over time will burn out and probably leave a nasty horrible taste in your mouth and make you want to give up to smoking. Also estate pipes, these can be an affordable road, but look up reputable sellers on Ebay ask around on here, as some estate pipes havent really been propperly cleaned or maintained, and can taste nasty and foul. Now first tobacco, there is litterally thousands of blends available out there, from the well known over the counter blends, too little known rands but with a massive underground following to the bespoke house blends tobacconist can offer. My best advice would be to go to a tobacconist, and have a chat see what they recommend, see if you can get hold of some samplers, i started out on an aromatic tobacco ecause of the little to no nicotine content, the lack of bite and the sweeter tastes. Over time as you want to develop your pallet have a try with different blends, cuts and brands. Once i became more certain what groups of tobaccos i liked, i then moved onto briar pipes which are now devoted to said types, like i have a briar for vapers and one for aromatics. But the best advice i can give for tobaccos is smoke what you like and like what you smoke, you may try a blend others hate but you love and vice versa, and dont feel bad if you like OTC tobaccos plenty of people do and plenty swear by them i for one am one of them, some of the classic british staples are OTCs and have a huge following. One of my favourite tobaccos is a shag cut and is stupidly cheap and i mean less than 5 pounds for 25 gram. But just have a play around, get a taste for what you like you could try one tobacco and want to smoke that exclusively or like me you will want to experiment and try loads of blends before you settle down with a particular one. The one thing is is there is no right or wrong way when it comes to choosing your first pipe or tobacco, if you find it works for you and your happy with your choice then so be it. Hope this helps the newer members of our community happy days and happy smoking to you.