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Dual line tricks - Axels


The kite is made to 'float' around one rotation in a stall-type spin. Cause the kite to hover in front of you for an instant by using a
snap stall (rock the kite from side to side by pulling left then right, to get the feel of it). Once the kite is stalled, push your right hand slightly forward and immediately pull your right hand far back and extend your left hand well to your front. This will cause the kite to flip. After you have that part down, combine all of the parts together to for one flowing motion. Some kites need a gentle motion of the pulling hand, others need a snappy pull...experiment ! Here's a video clip of the axel performed by Dodd Gross. ("avi" format (2.2 Mb) you can also get it here (U.K.) if that's closer to your habitat).

Another approach to learning the axel is to fly the kite to the edge (say right edge) then initiate a slow push turn by pushing the lower (right in this case) hand gently. As the nose passes 12 o'clock snap the right hand back and extend your left hand forward. Once you've mastered this, try the approach above...

What seems to be essential for learning a nice axel is the setup as present in both ways described above. You need to have the wing you are going to pop to be slightly back from the other wing. Look at it this way: the more the wing you pull is towards you, the more you will pull wing AND spine, and the kite will start moving forward as well as rotate. That's not what you want. Having the pop-wing leaning too far back results in something similar. A slight leaning back is just what you need.

Axel take off/Rogallo axel

The kite takes off directly into an
axel. With the kite set on it's wing tips, give a short tug on one hand followed by a firm tug on the other, much as in a standard axel. The kite should jump up and perform an axel. This move can be done straight into a landing by simply walking forward as soon as the wing tips come parallel to the ground. The latter move (axel take off to landing) is also called a "Miguel Rodrigez Coin Toss" since that is what originally was called a Coin toss. A slightly different axel take off is done if with the kite on it's wing tips you pop both lines shortly to get the kite slightly off the ground and after that perform the normal axel-push/axel-pop motions.


A cascade is a series of axel-backs bringing the kite down through the center of the window. An axel back is a pair of
half axels, one in each direction, which flow together into a single move. If you start with an axel popped with your left hand, as the kite gets part way through the rotation, pop your right hand to get the kite to axel back in the other direction. It takes a bit of practice to get the timing right, and the timing will vary between kites.

Continuous Axel/Multiple Axel

The kite is
axeled in such a way that it will be set up and in place to execute another axel right away. This is a combination of an axel and a Pop Up move. The easiest way I found to do this one is to snap stall at the edge of the Wind Window. Axel with the inside hand. Pop (towards you) the outside hand right away. If you do it at the right time, the pop will cause the wing to spin faster lining it up wings parallel and in motion for another axel, just axel again. If you pull to late, you will pull the nose towards you, kite on its back, voila, another trick, the fade.

Cuckoo clock

The Cuckoo clock is a
Fade followed by an Axel. When the kite is half way through the axel start the Flic-Flac moves: jerk both lines generating an Inverted backflip (the kite lays on its back with the nose pointing towards you). Now jerk both lines again generating a belly float and again generating an inve..... Keep doing this until the kite lands.

Edge fade

Fly across the the edge of the window and pop the upper wing gently. Allow slack into the lines and the kite will Axel through 180 degrees, like a
half axel (Kick Turn), but also loose height in the process. You can complete to a wing tip stand with the kite facing back into the window, or simply fly off.
This trick was originally called the "fade" in the UK until Jason Benedict went and called the fade (the fractured axel) the fade. Confusing?

Fading toe loop

Start with an
edge fade on the left side of the window. As the kite falls and turns anti-clockwise, the right wing-tip should line up for a tip stab. At this point, execute the toe loop, kicking the kite back up into the air with an axel.

Fountain/Up the fountain/Rising Cascade

This is a series of
half axels like the cascade but this one does not lose altitude like the cascade, but actually stays stationary and/or rises up! This one is a combination of the 1/2 axel series (cascades) along with a "pop up" move. The easiest way to learn this one is to practice the cascade a lot. You will soon learn that in between 1/2 axels (cascades) you give the rotating wing a slight "pop" with an arm motion that goes from neutral up and out, which helps it along and actually pulls that wing up, similar to the pop up move from a pancaked position. You will find that timing and adjusting that according to wind speed is very crucial. This "pop up" move is also similar to the one used in the continuous axel.

Genie pop

From a ground pass (say left..right) as the kite passes the center push with lower hand slightly, then pop an
Axle with the lower hand, do it hard. As this is done under power you may well need to pop the upper hand shortly after to get the kite to flip around. A perfect execution gives a VERY flat double axel and kite flies off in other direction.

This move looks best if you do it near the ground as the kite drifts across the ground as it spins, but of course it can be done somewhat higher up as well. If you get it wrong you will get a Lazy Susan. (so your on a winner no matter what)

Half axel/Kickturn

Flying the kite from right to left past center of the wind window, step forward to temporarily kill most of the kites forward drive. Immediately do a small push with the right hand (top wing) and a very small pull with the left hand (bottom wing). Follow this with an immediate
axel type snap of the right hand. Vary the right hand snap. Under snapping it will cause the kite to loose altitude in the turn. Over snapping it will cause the kite to over hover, or even flip onto it's back and do a rixel. A nice half axel has the kite flying horizontally, then belly's down in a 180 flat spin, and then snaps back into flight going in the opposite direction without loosing altitude.

Mortal Coil

Start with the kite out at the left hand edge of the window. Pop a right-handed
Axel take off and then continue to pop a long series of (right-handed) Multiple Axels so that the kite skates all the way across the window, spinning flat as it goes. Finish with an Axel landing on the right edge of the window. I guess it works the opposite way as well.

Mortal Coil

Start with the kite out at the left hand edge of the window. Pop a right-handed
Axel take off and then continue to pop a long series of (right-handed) Multiple Axels so that the kite skates all the way across the window, spinning flat as it goes. Finish with an Axel landing on the right edge of the window. I guess it works the opposite way as well.


Fly right to left to the edge of the wind window. As the kite is about to
stall, push with your right hand, and then snap it back. Use just the top hand and a slightly exaggerated motion. The kite will roll onto it's belly and continue over on it's back, and then pulling up on it's lines will cause the kite to snap back into flight. This move can be done to a landing as well. When the kite is rolling down, just as it turns on it's back, pull up the lines to plant it on the ground. In a good landing both wingtips get planted at the same time !. While the kite is rolling over, the lines should be slack. Find out how far down the kite drifts usually before you can pull it up to plant it on the ground, and set your initial horizontal line accordingly. Deep sailed kites have more difficulty doing this trick. The hand movements that start this trick are similar to the movements of the half axel, only the top hand pull is harder for the rixel.

Spin axel

Fly the kite to the edge of the window, about 30 feet above the ground and do a down spin by pulling back the outside hand. As soon as the tips become parallel with the ground, snap pull the inner line and release the outer line. The kite will
axel. Pull the kite out of it's rotation after 1 turn. This is a very smooth axel, is a 2 part move and is very effective in a 2 beat part of a song.

Spin double axel

This trick starts the same as the
spin axel but you let the kite rotate twice instead of once by keeping your rotating wing hand (outside hand) extended forward, as you move in towards the kite to keep it spinning. Pull the kite out of it's rotation after 2 turns.

Switch back

In a
shark you must keep most of the driving tension on the upper wing. Dragging across the ground from right to left, you would have more pressure on the right hand. As you pass the center of the window and approach the left, throw both hands forward to flatten the kite onto it's belly and then immediately pull on the left hand to lift the left wing up. The kite should now be pointing back towards the right of the window with the right leading edge touching the ground. You can now continue with a shark back the other way.
The easiest way to picture the Switchback is to think of a kick turn (the "half axel" move as Dodd calls it on FSIII) but executed on the ground, starting and ending in a shark.

Toe loop

This is quite simply an
axel that starts with a driving tip stab. Starting with a side slide, say from left to right, you would keep pressure on the right hand and a little more slack on the left. Increase the pressure on the right until the kite starts turning right into the ground. You should time it such that the right tip is about to stab the ground and then slack and pop the left wing in an exaggerated axel move. The right wing tip should drive into the ground and then kite should spring back up into an axel.
Executed well, the kite will spring high into the air with a resounding "thonk". If you're not so lucky, the kite might stay on the ground with a dissapointing "crack".
The name for this move, like the axel, comes from ice skating. The toe loop in ice skating is like the axel but starts with the skater driving the serrated toe of one skate into the ice to get rotational momentum. The similarities with the kite trick suggested the name was appropriate.

Remarks, additional info ? mail Peter Peters ( <pp@win.tue.nl>).