Here's some info which i had posted at our local Illinois club (i.e., Illinois Kite Enthusiasts) site for people needing some basic instruction on axels (first tricks). Also see the included video; on the day of that video, as one can plainly see (and hear),the winds were extremely high... but i can axel in a hurricane. i hope the following helps...
From the IKE posting on beginner tricks:
At the last Club Fly , i was helping with a couple of the basic tricks, which i would like to quickly review here. Winds were a bit brisk and even choppy that day, but nevertheless, people were still doing very well.
Tricks take time to learn (but learning in itself is a load of fun!)... oftentimes one has to try at them for many sessions before any progress is noted at all; never be discouraged... unless you get physically hit by a huge load of bird droppings!
One of the first things that one needs to learn, when wishing to trick a dual line kite, is how to put the kite into what is called a "Stall" or "Snap Stall". This maneuver involves getting the kite to hesitate in the air, cutting off its natural momentum, thus placing it in a basic position wherein you can get it to do a number of trick-oriented things that, otherwise, would be difficult to do. Stalls, in and of themselves, do not merely have to be a means to an end; if done properly, they can even look very impressive by themselves alone. The kite is moving along, then suddenly is freezing in the sky, which can be quite impressive indeed!
The action which you are performing, when doing a Stall, is getting the kite to negate the friction of the wind on the sail. So you are getting the kite to dump wind from the sail and suspend itself without as much wind momentum.
One of the best ways to do this is to think of yourself as if you were holding the steering wheel of a bus that has its steering wheel on more of a horizontal (rather than vertical) plane. Have your hands as if they are holding opposite ends of that steering wheel without sliding or letting go.
1.First get the kite toward the outer edge of the wind window (i.e., at the edge of where the wind pulls the kite); go slowly, let's say with the kite going toward the right!
2. Tilt the kite nose up by suddenly pulling your left hand.
3. Simultaneously push with your right hand (remember: as if you had those hands affixed to that steering wheel!)
4. Then quickly reverse by pulling with your right hand and pushing with your left.
5. If you do this rapidly (in quick succession) like you are shaking that steering wheel back and forth like a rather crazed bus driver... you will have a nice Stall; watch the nose of the kite and try to have it end straight up at 12 Noon.
6. Shake the wind right out of that baby with those opposing motions! Walking/moving forward, toward the end of the process, may also help to keep the kite in a nice Stall; the amount of forward motion would be adjusted according to the wind conditions at the time.
They say that once one learns how to do an Axel, one is hooked... one wants to learn more and more tricks!
There are many forms of Axels and a number of ways to get the kite into an Axel. Some of the techniques for putting kites in Axels, on some of the Training tapes and DVDs, seem OK... and others seem rather absurd, to me; but that's just my honest opinion.
Here's how i suggest doing them (which may or may not be right 4 U):
1. Stall the kite or place it slowly at the edge of the wind window (fairly high up in the sky). For our purposes, let us say that we are on the left side of the wind window.
2. Have the kite's nose facing to the left with little or no momentum to the kite (i.e., the kite should basically be Stalled, though it can be flying gently to the left without much momentum).
3. Pull your right hand back and downward moderately, getting the nose of the kite to turn up and toward the right; this movement is a bit more like a light pop toward the end of its movement (rather than merely being a pull).
4. Right before the nose of the kite hits High Noon, pop your left hand down and back with a nice, quick but moderate pop.
5. As you are popping with your left hand, still tug the right hand down a little but then quickly give measured slack with your right hand.
6. Immediately after, give slack with the other (left hand) so that now both hands are giving measured slack. Give enough slack so that the kite spins horizontally, around 360 degrees.
Timing is everything! You can also, once you get good, give the kite a little additional help by again giving a little pull with the right hand as the kite comes around toward you again, toward the end of its 360 degree rotation; this keeps the nose down (from being uplifted) and helps with the spin!
There are also Spin Axels, Axel Landings, Axel Take-Offs, and a number of other Axel oriented moves, like the Half-Axel and Half Axel-to-Fade... and a lot of other neat Axel-type stuff...
One other thing.... You need a nice trick oriented kite to do these things. Invest in a better kite (save up and get a nice flying-machine) and you will be far better off than trying to do tricks with a kite that is not designed to do them well; in other words, try to get a decent, trickable stallion kite, not a Merry-go-round thing that will keep you going in circles! Some new trick-worthy models are coming out, or already exist, that are very reasonably priced.