We should have a sticky post at the top of safety and training for downsizing. It should hold what every single downsizing threads leads to: Billvon's checklist, talk to your instructors, links to manufacturer recommendations, etc.
And then make threads about downsizing against forum rules.
OK, your no newbie anymore, and OK you've seen most questions already. Though I agree that all downsizing threads get repetitive, I'd like to remind you that when someone just arrives on these fora they don't know how the search function works, nor that their question (whatever it is) has probably been asked before.
Does that mean that all newbies should just STFU and do a search? The hell it does! A newbie has just as much the right for personal feedback as does someone who comes up with a genuinely original question. Whatever that is.
One more thing: You're not a Mod, so it's not mandatory for you to read those threads, you know..
Your arguement could be used for threads about Scott Lutz as well. Because newbies don't know that its been rehashed over and over and over again and don't know how to use the search function it makes it okay to keep having threads pop up about Scott Lutz because they don't know any better?
If we had a sticky about downsizing, then newbies wouldn't need the search function. It'd be right there on top for them to see.
If the situation warrented personal feedback, then post away. However, look at pretty much every single downsizing thread. The feedback is 99.9% always the same, and 95% of the time it turns into a pissing match about the OP looking for someone to tell him its okay, which should be his instructors and/or S&TA's responsibility.
And I look at these threads in hopes of learning something new and understanding canopy flight better.
The problem with the downsizing threads is not so mucht he sbject as the OPs attitude, as you rightfully point out. However, as I said before plenty of times, i think it's worth wasting time on twenty trolls if it can help one 'real' person.
Something like this could be set up to point to past helpful threads on common topics. This would make it easy for people to find what they're looking for without posting a new topic. And if a new topic is posted, we can just reference the link page.
I do not want to be one of those people that are quick to offer up suggestions and then runs away when the time comes to do something about it.
Below is just something I typed up as a potential beginning. I am only a coach (soon to be instructor in April) and by far I am no canopy expert. Maybe we could have BillVon or Scott Miller come up with something or edited or suggest. Please, by all means, butcher the below! I will not be offended in anyway.
Downsizing can be one of the most exciting things you can do in skydiving. It can also be one the most dangerous things if not done properly. Several factors determine what size canopy you should be on. There is more to downsizing and canopy flight than whether or not you stand up your landings most of the time.
If you’re just starting your skydiving adventure, the most important people you should be talking with are your instructors, coaches and S&TA’s. They are the people that see you fly your canopy with or without traffic, and see your landings. Only they can give you specific advice to your specific situation. If you’re having trouble finding someone to find the time to sit and talk with you, try spending a few hours after sunset or bad weather days at the dropzone, and don’t forget to bring beer.
If you’ve got a few jumps under your belt and are thinking about starting to swoop, getting a high performance canopy, or just looking to further downsize, find a swooper, an advance canopy pilot or S&TA and discuss things with them. Again, only they can give you specific advice to your specific situation because they are familiar with your skill and progression.
To get you started, BillVon has compiled a checklist for downsizing. It contains a wealth of knowledge and a check list of tasks that you should be able to complete on your current canopy before you downsize. (Insert link to BillVon’s checklist)
Another thing to consider when downsizing is canopy traffic. When you downsize, you will be going faster, from deployment to landing. That could mean that you could be in the pattern and landing with faster canopies. You will and they will need to react quicker and earlier to certain situations. It could also mean that you will be passing through slower moving canopies at higher altitudes. Your reaction time and skill will need to increase as the timing of these situations increase.
Lastly, ask yourself what your motivation or goal is for downsizing, and then ask yourself if you’re ready for the increased risk. You’ll find very few if any skydivers that have ever died because they were jumping too big of a canopy, but every year we lose members of our skydiving family because they were too eager to jump a canopy that was “cool”.