For years, the name Stan Medkov has been synonymous with Hookah Battle, for which he is Chief Organizer, but where did his journey in hookah begin and what are his ambitions for the future?
Tune in to our latest F-File where we learn more about one of the leading names in the global hookah scene today.
NAME: Stanislav Medkov
LOCATION: St. Petersburg, Russia
OCCUPATION: Chief of HookahBattle.com organization/ Lounge owner in Russia (Diskette Lounge)
FAVORITE QUOTE? "Happiness is when a person does what he loves and loves what he does. Everything else doesn't matter." - Ray Bradbury (American writer)
FIRST HOOKAH EXPERIENCE? In 2005, at some nightclub. Al-Fakher Cherry was the first flavor I've tried.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE HOOKAH INDUSTRY? In the Hookah industry for more than 13 years, organized hookah competitions and shows in more than 15 countries with Hookah Battle. I've also launched several international online services for hookah professionals: where2smoke.net (service to find a hookah lounge), hhh.hookahbattle.com (service to find a JOB in hookah industry). Developed the first in the world (nobody did a hookah franchise concept before) hookah lounge chain franchise in Russia and CIS countries (nargilia.com), and with this project have helped open more than 100 lounges in 2009-2017. My dream is to build a big international platform based on Hookah Battle events and services, which will work like "LinkedIn" for hookah professionals.
FAVORITE LOUNGE? Diskette Lounge in St. Petersburg, Russia
FAVORITE HOOKAH SETUP? Japona Hookah Shuriken + Upgrade From classic bowl + Otivana hose with freeze capsule
WHAT’S HOOKAH CULTURE LIKE IN RUSSIA (FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN)? Some people say Russian hookah culture is the most developed in the world. Russian hookah culture created the word "Hookah Master" - a person who works in a hookah lounge and can prepare a hookah of your dream. Hookah masters usually participate in our Hookah Battle shows and challenges. In Russia you can find the biggest number of brands who produce hookah related products.
ADVICE FOR ANYONE JUST GETTING STARTED (IN THE INDUSTRY) NOW? I recommend to start with some soft nicotine tobacco brands (Fumari actually a perfect option to start), and avoid some high-nicotine Dark leaf tobacco brands, since it can be too heavy for inexperienced smokers.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT HOOKAH SMOKING? I love to create an "atmosphere' around smoking: it's more important with who you are smoking (like with your good friends or people you like) and where are you smoking (like in some lounge located on the beach with a beautiful view), if you have a good atmosphere around smoking, it will doesn't matter what exactly (tobacco, hookah, e.t.c) you smoking.