Starting Out With Good Hole Patterns
As any regular hookah smoker knows, an excellent smoke session is all about heat management. Too much heat and your smoke will get thin and be unpleasant to inhale (not to mention, taste terrible!). Not enough heat and your smoke will just be plain thin. While there are many elements to good heat management, an important (often overlooked) one is your hole pattern in the tin foil. To further complicate things, depending on what bowl you use, your hole pattern will vary.
So, without further adieu , here are some hole patterns to get you started with your bowl. Keep in mind, there are many different patterns used to punch holes in your foil. Some are better than others. I’d encourage you to take these as starting suggestions. You may find they work perfect, or you may find they need to be tweaked to your own taste.
Standard bowls are those that have the holes placed at the bottom of the tobacco reservoir. When drawing air through the bowl, it is pulled directly through the tobacco into the pipe. For this reason, it’s suggested that you start with a series of holes spread out and evenly spaced over the whole surface of the tin foil.
Phunnel bowls have a spire in the center, on top of which is a large opening for air to pull through. The tobacco is placed in a recessed “mote” around the opening in the spire. Because of this, it’s important that the air is forced to cross the tobacco before being drawn into the pipe. Start you hole pattern with three concentric circles around the outside of the bowl, leaving the center intact.
Similar to a Phunnel Bowl, the Vortex Bowl also has a spire in the center which is raised above the tobacco around it. Unlike the Phunnel Bowl, however, the holes are placed around the sides of the spire at varying heights. Because the holes are placed around the sides, you want to pull air, but not too much air, from various places around the bowl. Many have found this star pattern does the trick.