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by Wade Hill
January 28, 2017
Hello again, and welcome to another weekly Hookah Heroes blog post. Bowls are a topic of conversation among many in the hookah community, and easily the most asked question is "What bowl should I buy next?" As someone who considers himself a collector of bowls, I'd like to think that I'm somewhat qualified to answer that question. Today, I'm going to talk a little bit about my top three workhorse bowls going into 2017. These are bowls that always find themselves in my bowl rotation, regardless of what new bowls I have on hand.
The Goodfella is a great example of what a bowl should be - it's shallow, HMD compatible, and has a wide draw. There's really not more that a bowl needs to do beyond that, and the Goodfella does it well. It holds about 25g of tobacco, and it can last about two hours or so, depending on your pack. The diameter of the bowl is about 3.5in, so it'll fit any HMD perfectly. It's not going to be a snug fit like a lip bowl has, but it's easily the best fit you'll find without being a lip bowl. The wide draw means that the bowl will never be a point of restriction for your sessions, as the gauge is easily wider than the downstem of any hookah that you'll find. The Goodfella V3 is a great standard of what a bowl should be, and I finding myself using it on a weekly basis because of this.
HookahJohn Alien Flashback
The Alien bowl was one of my first funnel bowls, so it has a special place in my heart. However, the Alien bowls in recent years have seen some less than great designs. They were too deep, and they had an almost restricted draw. Fans of the bowl complained, and John listened. The Alien Flashback harkens back to what the original Alien Bowl was - super shallow, with an exceptionally wide draw. It was a true "shisha saver" bowl, as that's what it was intended to be originally. The Flashback captures that essence perfectly. It holds about 15g or so of tobacco, depending on what and how you're packing. The draw is nice and wide, so you'll never have any issue with restriction. The bowl also fits HMD's, though not perfectly. It's a perfect iteration of a workhorse bowl, as you can legitimately maximize the efficiency of what tobacco you're using in your sessions.
HookahJohn 80ft/ Liberty Fudge
This one is tied, because I feel that these two bowls are too similar to separate. The HookahJohn 80ft bowl and the Liberty Fudge bowl are two bowls that are both small bowls, holding about 20g at max. They aren't shallow, but nor are they wide. They find a nice medium ground between having a wide diameter, and a deep capacity. My 80ft has easily seen well over 200 sessions in the last year, with my Fudge hitting close to 90 (haven't had it nearly as long). Due to the size of the bowls, they're perfect for having a two coal round session, as your bowl will be perfectly cooked from top to bottom. These bowls are HMD compatible, however they don't fit perfectly. The HMD will have some overhang on the sides of the bowls, however it really doesn't effect your sessions that much in the long run. I also particularly love these two bowls because they're perfect fits for the Provost HMD, and you can get a perfectly cooked bowl with one round of cube coals with that combo.
If you're in the market for a new bowl, these three are the bowls that I would highly recommend getting. These bowls aren't super fancy, or super rare. Rather, they're just great bowls that are perfect for every day usage, and they'll serve you well. Granted, they may not be the best bowls in the world. However, you'll find yourself getting consistently great results with these, and they won't break the bank. What do you think? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? What are your picks for the best workhorse bowls of 2017? Let me know in the comments below! As always guys, thanks so much for reading, and happy smokes!
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by Wade Hill
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