Some time back I wrote a piece about wrappers (click here) where my goal was to point out some misconceptions about the wrapper. I will reiterate, that the wrapper role is mainly cosmetic, so get what you prefer... on that same note, there is a similar situation with cigar ashing.
One of the greatest things about cigar smoking is that there are no rules. Everyone likes different vitolas, cuts it differently, and smokes it differently- and as long as the smoker enjoys what they are doing- it is fine.
Ashing is an odd on for me to observe. I recently bumped into Show Me Your Ash, and it made me think about writing a post on the subject. I know nothing about the site, but they have a nice collection of photos if you follow the link.
The one that concerns me is the long ash. It is so very popular, but so nerve-racking. I say nerve-racking because I am a cautious guy, and too many times I have lost an ash on my shirt, pants, or worse (like the floor of my mother's house).
Sometimes I get nervous (mostly when I am drinking) just looking at a long ash, imagining the where and when it might fall. Like driving in a car on "E," and every block (like every puff) makes me more and more nervous.
I understand that a solid ash is the sign of a good cigar (but so is body and aroma)
I am a "no-ash" guy. I flick or twist it off as soon as I can. In fact, I picked up the habit somewhere of crushing the ash, and pushing it to one side of the ashtray. In addition, I am an animated talker, and I can't be waving my hands with an inch of ash ready to fly off.
For those of you that like to hold your ask, the trick is to be very cautious when you are taking a puff. When the ash is warm it is at it's weakest. After the cherry cools a little, the ash will hold to it better.
As always, do want makes you happy- but be cautious, especially if you are wearing white...