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Axel tips?


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#1 ahofer

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 06:01 PM

OK - so I've watched Watty's video and I've seen Rich do it live. I have two days at the beach now and I'm determined to pull off a few. If anybody has advice to offer I'd appreciate it. All I've done so far flying is a few jerky looking, half-flattened spins.

This is gonna sound really dumb, but watching the videos, I still a little confused about the preferred direction of rotation. Watty starts with an inverted slide, tugs the outside edge then pulls hard on the inside edge. So it looks like it is basically clockwise from the pilot's perspective and that outside edge goes away from the pilot first. Is one direction easier than the other?

I've noticed that people use it to gain ground. Does the leading edge glide away from the pilot in an axel?
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#2 Watty

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 09:37 PM

OK - so I've watched Watty's video and I've seen Rich do it live. I have two days at the beach now and I'm determined to pull off a few. If anybody has advice to offer I'd appreciate it. All I've done so far flying is a few jerky looking, half-flattened spins.

This is gonna sound really dumb, but watching the videos, I still a little confused about the preferred direction of rotation. Watty starts with an inverted slide, tugs the outside edge then pulls hard on the inside edge. So it looks like it is basically clockwise from the pilot's perspective and that outside edge goes away from the pilot first. Is one direction easier than the other?


Hi ahofer,

Let's break it down into the different parts and look at each piece in detail.

We start out in an inverted slide (other entries are possible, but we will stick with this for ease of explaining). The first part is the tug on the outside edge. This part of the axel is very much similar to a "samurai slide." To practice this first tug, slide along the window, and pull the leading corner slowly back towards your hip. What you will see happening, is that the kite will become much more flat, and more or less glide across the window. You will also see the trailing edge of the kite give a slight ripple. Maintaining that glide is knows as the "samurai slide," and at any time during it, it is easy to snap into an axel. This flattened glide gets a large amount of the air out of the sail and get's the kite into a somewhat flat position to be ready for the axel. This really helps to get the axel to be more flat.

The next part is a large pull on the inside edge. This is just to start the rotation. A large pull is necessary to get the full spin.

Next, you must follow through. You will notice that both Rich and myself will move our hands with the kite as it rotates. I think of this as more of a precaution. The reason for this is that if the kite is not rotating enough, you can often give it a bit of a nudge while you follow through.

The preferred method of an axel would be an under-axel. An under-axel is the flat-spin equivalent to an under-turn 180. In an under-turn 180, half way through the turn, the leading edge of the kite is facing down. So, for instance, if you are traveling from left to right, your axel would be a clockwise rotation. Whether you are doing a clockwise or counter-clockwise is entirely a flier's preference. I am right handed, so I do the majority of my axels moving from left to right (clockwise rotation) because this places the larger tug in my right hand.

I've noticed that people use it to gain ground. Does the leading edge glide away from the pilot in an axel?


That is part of it, yes. After 3/4 of the rotation, the leading edge will curve away from you and glide back. Another reason that people use it to gain ground is that since it is a flat spin, we do not want air to be filling up the sail. So, if there is a breeze, the wind will get under the kite and try to pull it up, making it less flat. So, a low amount of wind is needed to do it. Those of you that have seen me do an axel in high winds have seen me very quickly move forward a few yards. In order to pull it off, the wind relative to the kite must be somewhat calm.

I hope this helps,
Watty

Edited by Watty, 03 November 2010 - 09:37 PM.

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#3 REVflyer

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 03:18 AM

think of it as two motions,
one is snappy push with a thumb (down) towards the kite in one handle
the other is a sharp jerk backwards with the other hand towards your waist or even beyond your torso. Initiating the movement with a thumb becomes unconscious, the other hand which is the "control" Watty is referring to, that allows you to choke back the rotation or assist it further along, if that is deemed appropriate.

So now with some practice you can choke the axel back, that means the leading edge has only rotated sufficiently to be facing the flyer, the kite is still flat and the flying lines and bridle are under the kite. Everyone swears it's a position of crash worthiness, but you can use the other hand (and step backwards!) popping air pressure back into the sail. It looks impossible to recover from and everyone will gasp when you do! Hold that position and see if you can walk backwrds more than a step or two before you must fall to mother earth or do your recovery move. I'm only a step or two so far, but it's pretty repeatable.

I'd like to glide it back to me for a catch eventually, (from this half axel position), but I have no idea how short the lines will have to be to do that.

Properly executed you can gain ground or even rise vertically doing a series of axels

Edited by REVflyer, 04 November 2010 - 03:26 AM.


#4 ahofer

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 03:31 AM

Wow, thanks! If you hear of someone flailing dangerously and injuring tourists on Neptune Beach(Jacksonville)) you'll know I'm working on it.
When I was young, my bologna had a first name. Now my bodywash has an "Objective".

#5 REVflyer

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 04:16 AM

HA! true enough, you can't learn these techniques with both hands tucked deeply into your pockets. Might you be considering the purchase of some vehicular traffic safety cones to protect the innocent bystanders?
I've had folks say right out loud in team flying circumstances that they "didn't want to stand next to Paul for fear of that flailing". Oh well, they must be envious, that's all I can think of in a single word!

#6 Watty

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 07:33 AM

I'd like to glide it back to me for a catch eventually, (from this half axel position), but I have no idea how short the lines will have to be to do that.




This is actually surprisingly easy and repeatable on short lines, especially when you do it high in the window. What I'll usually do is fly up to the upper 1/3 of the window at an angle, then whip the kite in an up turn to facing inverted, then give a slight pull to start an axel from there. It has worked well for me on lines up to 30'.

Spence "Watty" Watson

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#7 ahofer

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 02:25 PM

I spent a few hours on this field this weekend, and I managed to perform a few that looked good - mostly in the course of gaining ground in a lull. The ones I tried to do in stronger winds tended to result in the kite rotating 180, then diving down to the ground or descending on one end with no way to catch wind back into the sail (and usually a peak hooked in the line). Not sure what I'm doing to create this.
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#8 ahofer

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 03:11 PM

Definitely got it in San Diego this weekend. Last flight was with a B2 Full Vent, and I was axel-ing with..abandon! The winds were high (15+) I was also able to bring it way up to the 9:00 position, flatten the sail, then half-axel it and watch it glide down the beach on loose lines, like a toss. Fun!
When I was young, my bologna had a first name. Now my bodywash has an "Objective".

#9 kwmf

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 06:03 AM

Decided yesterday this would be my next trick and spend some time watching JB and Watty in super super super super slow motion on their 1.5 and B2 platform since it wasn't entirely clear from the forums and videos. Turns out it's a surprisingly simple trick, so today I headed down to the beach during lunch time to spend 15 minutes on this.

Initial attempts yeilded half axels (not enough slack) which was a new trick for me anyway, and think it was attempt 5 that I managed to must out a complete axel. The next couple of attempts were all half axels and it was about attempt 10-15 before I hit a full axel again. It's messy, I lose height, the exit isn't accurate, the entry isn't precise .... but if I pulled this one out, you guys would be able to identify it as an axel :)

I can now officially claim to do a slack line trick with a kite ... my first one !!!!


A word of advise to those wanting to try this, remove your watch - it's a line snagger of note.

#10 jburka

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 06:42 AM

Try playing around with your B2 on some extended handles (the 11s that come with it really aren't long enough; try 13" or longer). Double-axels are ridiculously easy with it...

#11 quaa714

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 09:00 AM

Double-axels are ridiculously easy with it...


:):):):):)

"Cya in the Sand!....."

"Slack lines are fine lines!"


"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" BD
"One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain" BM
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#12 Watty

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 03:58 PM

A word of advise to those wanting to try this, remove your watch - it's a line snagger of note.


Haha, yes I used to always wear a wristwatch, but stopped when the snagging annoyed me too much.

Spence "Watty" Watson

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#13 ahofer

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 05:31 PM



Just to prove I was listening. Thanks guys.



When I was young, my bologna had a first name. Now my bodywash has an "Objective".

#14 Watty

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 09:28 PM

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcnE_gmuoEk&"]http://www.youtube.c...?v=wcnE_gmuoEk&[/url]

Just to prove I was listening. Thanks guys.




Hi ahofer,


One thing that I think will help a lot in flattening the axels is to practice the "samurai slide." When you see someone pop into an axel from what looks like a powered position, like an inverted hover, or whatever, you'll see just a second before the axel, the kite will shuffel just a bit. Whats happening is that the flyer is giving a small tug on the opposite hand just before the axel. The Idea here is that you are releasing all the pressure from the kite, so when you make the big hit to do the rotation, the kite is able to get more of a flat spin.

Spence "Watty" Watson

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#15 Watty

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 09:28 PM

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcnE_gmuoEk&"]http://www.youtube.c...?v=wcnE_gmuoEk&[/url]

Just to prove I was listening. Thanks guys.




Hi ahofer,


One thing that I think will help a lot in flattening the axels is to practice the "samurai slide." When you see someone pop into an axel from what looks like a powered position, like an inverted hover, or whatever, you'll see just a second before the axel, the kite will shuffel just a bit. Whats happening is that the flyer is giving a small tug on the opposite hand just before the axel. The Idea here is that you are releasing all the pressure from the kite, so when you make the big hit to do the rotation, the kite is able to get more of a flat spin.

Spence "Watty" Watson

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

 


#16 quaa714

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 03:08 AM

Andrew,
I'm pretty sure you are coming to LSP today and if that's the case you and I can work together to get your axels flatter.
You are so right on the edge of getting it!
What we will work on for you is basically depowering the sail enought to really slack the lines, which in effect is how you get to flatten the kite and let it rotate around itself.
Once you do that a couple times and feel the motion of your body, it will click for you. Its almost as if your arms and upper body are, in effect, creating a looping effect similiar to what the lines will do when they get slack on the kite end.
We'll work on it today and I promise you you'll walk away today feeling like the axel god you are!!!!!!!!

"Cya in the Sand!....."

"Slack lines are fine lines!"


"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" BD
"One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain" BM
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#17 ahofer

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 06:25 AM

Yeah that third spin is about as flat as I get. I will be out at LSP around 1:30. Doing a baseball clinc with Jamie.
When I was young, my bologna had a first name. Now my bodywash has an "Objective".

#18 SkyPuppet

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 12:24 PM

Aha!
After watching the B Series dvd a million times, and reading this topic and practicing over the last couple days, I was busting consistent axels today! :lol: However, since I was flying alone, I'm still having trouble believing it...
Am I right in thinking a full axel will always complete with the leading edge facing in the direction opposite of the entry? That's how it seems to complete when John does it in the B Series vid, and in Watty's "Friendly Neighborhood Kite Flier" vid.

Today I noticed that I was trying WAY to hard when I first tried for the axel. I was trying to tug on the leading corner AND throw my arm forward for some slack, all in a brutally quick motion. Today I found that when the wind was low enough, only the extra "tug" on the leading corner was necessary to depressurize and flatten the sail enough to give a big pull with my opposite hand to start the axel. When the wind picked up a bit, I used both the tug and reaching forward, but found that these motions didn't need to happen quickly for it to work properly (in low-ish wind). I also found that I don't need to be super-quick on the big pull once the kite has flattened out, I could actually kind of wait to see the sail flatten out, so long as the wind wasn't too fast. I was flying on 75' lines, I imagine I will need to speed up all these motions when I switch to my 30' lines and try this, and when the wind really starts to pick up.
I also found out that when trying to do the axel from right to left, my brain wasn't cooperating and I was giving slack and the big pull with the wrong hands :kid_cussing: :lol:over and over and over

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#19 Watty

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 04:34 PM

Aha!
After watching the B Series dvd a million times, and reading this topic and practicing over the last couple days, I was busting consistent axels today! :lol: However, since I was flying alone, I'm still having trouble believing it...
Am I right in thinking a full axel will always complete with the leading edge facing in the direction opposite of the entry? That's how it seems to complete when John does it in the B Series vid, and in Watty's "Friendly Neighborhood Kite Flier" vid.

Today I noticed that I was trying WAY to hard when I first tried for the axel. I was trying to tug on the leading corner AND throw my arm forward for some slack, all in a brutally quick motion. Today I found that when the wind was low enough, only the extra "tug" on the leading corner was necessary to depressurize and flatten the sail enough to give a big pull with my opposite hand to start the axel. When the wind picked up a bit, I used both the tug and reaching forward, but found that these motions didn't need to happen quickly for it to work properly (in low-ish wind). I also found that I don't need to be super-quick on the big pull once the kite has flattened out, I could actually kind of wait to see the sail flatten out, so long as the wind wasn't too fast. I was flying on 75' lines, I imagine I will need to speed up all these motions when I switch to my 30' lines and try this, and when the wind really starts to pick up.
I also found out that when trying to do the axel from right to left, my brain wasn't cooperating and I was giving slack and the big pull with the wrong hands :kid_cussing: :lol:over and over and over


A 'proper' axel should be at least 360 degree's, other ways It would be considered a half-axel.

When flying in heavier wind, your technique should be the same, but you will want to move forward at a pace to compensate for the increased wind.

Spence "Watty" Watson

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#20 SkyPuppet

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:29 PM

Any tips on pulling off multiple axels?
I'm completing single axels nicely now, thanks to some help :) but my rotations are too slow to bring my 1.5 B around for multiple rotations with just the one big pull.

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