The two pedals feel SO different, I'd argue that you should know whether or not you want the feel of the Axis or the DW's.
If I were you, I'd buy a used set of DW9000's. Direct drive just does not feel good to me.
I agree, go check out the feel of both. I have a DW 9000 and my buddy has a Axis Long board. I really like both pedals and if I wouldn't have got a great deal on my DW, I would have went with Axis, it is a great pedal, but a different feel. Again, your best bet is to go compare the two, good luck!!However it might feel good to him. What he really should do is head to a shop and try them side by side to see which is best for his feet and playing style ;-) I'd also argue if you are looking direct drive to look into the yamaha direct drive pedals many many guys on here that have them that are very happy with them. Considering trying one for myself.