I think this topic deserves some serious, thoughtful discussion away from the Deland incident thread.
First, I think it is important that newbies use an RSL. Until a person has proven they can not only chop but also pull their reserve (perhaps even more than once) it is too great a risk.
Many of my reasons to not use an RSL involve concern about very low probability events. I recognize this. I can accept myself failing to pull my own reserve, but I don't like being subject to the potential problems that an RSL can cause, even if they will probably be less likely than my own failure (even if they are certainly less likely than my own failure).
My reasons do not involve a worry about reserve line twists. It is my opinion that line twists on reserves largely are due to the bag being extracted while not stable therefore imparting an unusual kick to the bag as it leaves the container. This does not mean that I advocate waiting to get stable before pulling reserve (I have never waited), but I like the idea of having that as an option without having to find and release an RSL shackle.
I don't loosen my chest strap, so I don't have my reserve handle moving on me. I use a metal reserve handle and one hand on each handle method, so I find the handle before chopping.
I like to keep things simple, and there are failure modes that I don't like being subject to that involve an RSL.
An RSL can get snagged pulling the reserve even before the main is out.
Even though I use wide risers, I don't like the idea of a single riser failure causing my reserve to be deployed.
I don't like having my main attached to me by another mechanism besides the risers, as the RSL could get hung up on something preventing a normal cutaway.
If I have a canopy collision/entanglement, you can't be sure that the entanglement will clear right away after chopping. If I have a 2 out situation, I would want to release the RSL (if I were using an RSL) before cutting away the main, as the RSL shackle can snag any part of the reserve on the way out, and I would not want to have to mess with releasing the shackle in either a collision/entanglement or 2 out scenario.
There are probably some other reasons I've not thought of right now.
I know that the numbers say an RSL is more likely to help than hurt. I've read Rick Horn's incident and understand the implications.
I do not wish to influence newbies to not use an RSL. Flame on...
(This post was edited by sundevil777 on May 16, 2013, 11:17 PM)