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Vortex Hookah Bowl - Tips For Best Performance

Vortex Hookah Bowl - Tips For Best Performance

By Danny / July 1, 2014
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The Vortex Hookah Bowl is one of the best designed and most popular hookah accessories in the world, but are you sure that you are getting the absolute best performance out of yours when you smoke? Spend just a few minutes reviewing these quick tips and your future hookah sessions with your Vortex bowl will be the best yet.

Mind The Holes In Your Vortex Bowl

The single most important thing to remember when packing your Vortex bowl is to pay attention to the holes on the side of the center spire. It is quite easy for these holes to become clogged and negatively affect air-flow if you are not careful. Your best friend when dealing with this problem is the simple Oyster Fork. We recommend packing your bowl loosely, as usual, making sure that the top of your shisha (we're smoking Fumari Lemon Mint) is just slightly below the outer edge of your bowl, and then using the oyster fork to gently push the shisha away from the center spire above the holes. By doing this you promote airflow, and reduce the chances of the Vortex holes becoming clogged.

Proper Vortex Hookah Bowl Packing

Poke Your Foil Holes Correctly

Since the Vortex bowl pushes your shisha towards the outside of your bowl, it's best to keep your foil holes towards the outside of the bowl as well. With a traditional, holes on bottom, Egyptian style hookah bowl, you want the foil holes to cover the entire top of your bowl. With a Vortex bowl, we suggest that you avoid poking holes in the center of the foil. Just poke holes in the part of the foil which is directly above your shisha.

Proper Vortex Hookah Bowl Foil Poking Pattern

Place Your Coals Around The Edge Of The Vortex Bowl

This tip is true for just about any type of bowl, but is especially true for the Vortex bowl. When smoking with a Vortex you always want to start with your hookah coals as far to the edge of the bowl as possible. It's up to you how many coals you use (we generally recommend two or three natural coals to start) but be sure to have them evenly spaced out around the edge. If your hookah is very stable and in an area where it's unlikely to be bumped or tipped, we recommend having your coals overhang the edge slightly like in the picture. As your session goes on and the coals become smaller, begin to shift them in towards the center but never place your coals in the direct center of the bowl where the spire is. That is just a waste of heat.

Proper Hookah Coal Placement On A Vortex Bowl

Double Your Foil If Your Smoke Is Harsh

Since the Vortex bowl is designed specifically for wetter shisha brands, heat management becomes very very important. Wetter shisha brands are more susceptible to burning or scorching, which will quickly lead to harsh smoke and less than optimal flavor. If you have problems with this regularly, we recommend using a double hookah foil layer. Just wrap your hookah bowl as normal, and then add a second layer of foil on top of that. Once both layers are in place, poke your holes in the foil. The second layer of foil will provide a bit more protection for your shisha and may fix your problems.

Double Foil Layer On Vortex Bowl

When In Doubt, Use A Kaloud Lotus

If you are the type of smoker who hates shuffling around your hookah charcoal during a smoke session, we recommend trying a Kaloud Lotus with your Vortex bowl. The Kaloud Lotus fits a Vortex bowl perfectly and will allow you to have a smooth, flavorful session without worrying about burning your shisha. A Lotus coupled with the packing method we recommended in our first tip will virtually guarantee a great smoke every time.

Kaloud Lotus

If Your Kaloud Lotus Is Wobbly, Use The Foil Trick

Some modern Vortex bowls have a manufacturing defect where the center spire rises a bit too high and is actually higher than the outside edges of your bowl. In these instances, the Kaloud Lotus can be a bit wobbly and prone to falling off of your hookah if bumped or jostled too hard. There is a very simple and cheap mod that you can assemble in no time flat that will fix this issue. Just grab some aluminum foil and cut some strips that are long enough, and wide enough, to cover the entire outer edge of the bowl. Fold the foil over until it is thick enough to make the outer edge as tall, or taller, than the center spire. Boom, no more wobbly Lotus. Watch the video we made to see this hookah hack in action.

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