Axels the eezy peezy way (Re: NEED AXEL HELP)

Subject Axels the eezy peezy way (Re: NEED AXEL HELP)
From (Andy Wardley)
Date Thu, 27 Jun 1996 10:56:36 +0000
Newsgroups rec.kites
One in a series of three:

[...axel trouble...]

I've adopted a slightly different technique for teaching people to Axel than the normal method (i.e. "Snap Stall then Axel" a la Flight School II). I think my approach makes it a little easier to start with because they have less to think about.

Instead of executing a snap stall, I get them to fly the kite horizontally out to the left side of the window and then execute a normal upwards turn right at the edge where the wind drops. The natural consequence of doing this out at the edge is that the kite will have stalled all by itself.

The Axelee-to-be should be able to do this straight away and practice at holding the kite for a few seconds. You can then show them the technique of pushing your right hand forward to let the wing push back and the nose fall slightly down.

As this happens, it's the "Hand Switch". Rather than talking about a pop with the right hand followed by a push with the left, I say it's a pop with the right *and* a push with the left at the same time. If both hands are moving at once (albeit in opposite directions), it seems to be a bit easier to remember because it's one step rather than two. The final action is to push again with the right hand. I also suggest a step forward as a suitable way of ensuring enough slack is in the lines.

Dry runs without the kite are useful to get the hand movement right without worrying about what the kite is doing (or who it's just hit on the head).

The great think about doing this at the edge of the window is that it's very forgiving. The wind is light which makes the stall easier, a gentle pop is all that is required and you don't have to be over generous with the slack to be sure of success.

If you're having trouble getting the Axel or you've tried unsuccesfully to teach someone to do an Axel, then try it this way. Everyone I've taught this way has got it almost straight off.

Once they've got it once, then twice, then three times, then they've got it for good. With this initial confidence and understanding of what they (and the kite) should be doing, they can try the other side of the window, and gradually move in towards the middle of the window and try it in combination with snap stalls, etc.

If you're learning by yourself, then no amount of decription can compare to actually seeing the move done. This is where a video like Flight School II (unnoffical plug) is so great because you get to see the move, learn the actions and so on. My method isn't really a substitute because you'll still want to learn the Snap Stall/Axel approach and more, but it might just be the first step to get you on your way.

The final thing to say is that the type of kite you're flying makes a big difference. There are some kites that love to Axel (mumble...mumble... Box of Tricks...<shameless plug>...mumble) and some that Axel only under protest. If you can beg, borrow or steal an easy-to-axel kite then it will make all the difference. Eventually, you'll want to go back and prove your Axel mastery one your other kite, but that's not going to be too hard if you've already learnt the basic technique.