Slinks on a main are good... They are actually stronger than "Maillon" mini links and if the link does fail, then it fails all the way (I remember a skydiver who had what he thought were a couple of broken lines - it was only after landing that he realised he had a maillon link failure - when the 3 remaining lines on a front riser fell off the link!).
At present I don't agree with the idea that slinks are safe on PD & Raven reserves but in some way unsafe on others. Personally I think that Slinks should be legally safe on all reserves or unsafe on all reserves - It's a link, an alternative to what is ineffect a standard metal link, realistically what difference does it make which reserve it's connected to, the issue of which harness (reserve risers) it's connected to hasn't arose!
I would agree that Slinks would probably fail at a higher number than 3.5 Maillon Rapide links, (mini links) but not likely higher than #4's, and definitely not higher than #5's.
My new Cobalt 135 came with #4's, which I consider to be the "ideal" Maillon Rapide link. As far as 3.5 mini's are concerned, I've always felt that they are pushing the envelope to much, with very little strength margin as compared to #4's.
Keep in mind that #5's were the norm before 3.5's.. (mini's) 3.5's (mini's) are one half the strength of #5's! Number 4's fall in the lower middle.
Note: A #8 Brass or 25mm stainless slider grommet will go over #4's with no problem, even with a boot.
<FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by dbtech on 4/30/01 01:58 PM.</EM></FONT>
I like Slinks, but as I trade main canopies so often, they are a bit of a hindrance. Right now I am using #4 Rapide links which work fine and don't hamper my slider-stowing at all. If you only have one main canopy, then I would say put them on. They truly do make for a cleaner pack job in my opinion. As for having problems reaching your slider, you need to get yourself some shorter risers; that would cure your problem right away.
One trick that some of us swoopers are using for optimum canopy tuning is to put Rapides on front or back then Slinks on the opposite side. Sounds odd maybe, but it is definitely the easiest and cleanest way to make minor up/down trim adjustments.
I don't see any problem with using Slinks on the reserve, but you really aren't creating that much extra space by doing it. As for the "legalities" of using them on only certain reserves, that is purely a CYA move on the manufacturers part. Rest assured that they work just as safely on every other reserve, legalities not withstanding. Before PD started selling it's Slinks, plenty of riggers were making their own soft links, Jimmy Cazer among them. The first ones I had were not removeable; sewn together at the ends. Nice, but one-time use only. I used PD slinks about half of last year and really did like them, but I was not comfortable taking them apart all the time to change mains. If I were content to jump regular mini-risers, then it wouldn't have mattered because I have several extra sets, but now I jump custom, quite-short triples, so I ended up swapping at the links every time (more of a pain in the ass with Slinks).
Somebody told me that PD Reserve Slinks have actually been TSOed BY THEMSELVES, as to say that, even if PD state quite clearly that they didn't test them with different parachutes than theirs, they should be legal with any (legal) reserve canopy.
To date, only PD and Precision have approved Slinks on their reserves. They will probably work on most other reserves, but that opens a huge can of worms from the legal perspective. In the short run I will only install Slinks on Raven and PD reserves, and will double-check that I am using the Slinks specifically built for reserves. Remeber, PD builds two different types of Slinks. You are free to install Slinks on any main you like. The only technical problem we know of with Slinks was a guy who jumped with rough slider grommets that cut one of his Slinks. So what else is new? Years ago we knew that rough slider grommets prematurely aged lines.
I put slinks on because I was experiencing bumper wear. I figured instead of replacing the bumpers, get rid of them.
I don't regret getting slinks, but I don't think they're all PD says they are.
Get used to your slider whacking you on your head. It can hurt. Get used to your slider comming down over your steering toggles.
My single biggest complaint is this: The tabs that are used to close the slinks constantly come out of my risers. These are little tabs that fit into a finger trap used to close off the cord. They're supposed to sit inside the riser out of the way. Mine constantly move out to the side, and there they catch the slider making it dificult to move. People tell me after a few months slinks develop a memory and don't move out anymore, but I've done over a hundred jumps on slinks and still have problems.
My single biggest complaint is this: The tabs that are used to close the slinks constantly come out of my risers. These are little tabs that fit into a finger trap used to close off the cord. They're supposed to sit inside the riser out of the way. Mine constantly move out to the side, and there they catch the slider making it difficult to move. People tell me after a few months slinks develop a memory and don't move out anymore, but I've done over a hundred jumps on slinks and still have problems.
DB: Tack the tab to the riser with E-thread with a fisherman's knot as I did when I used Slinks. I now use #4 Rapide links on my new Cobalt 135
In response to: "Tack the tab to the riser with E-thread with a fisherman's knot as I did when I used Slinks."
Exactly. That or tack both sides of the riser, creating a sort of channel that the tab cant spin out of.
Concerning your slider flying down over your toggles: Well, yes, that would make things much easier anyway, as I don't unstow my brakes till after my slider is pulled down, collapsed, and stowed behind my head
Slinks are soft connector links made by Performance Designs. Like most soft links, Slinks reduce weight and pack volume. They also allow the slider to be pulled down to neck level. Slinks are better than other types of soft links because they can be removed and re-installed repeatedly. PD makes two types of Slinks: one for main canopies and another for reserves. PD Slinks are currently approved on PD and Raven reserves.