I think pulling a cord and stuffing the slider in a pocket would be less distracting than collapsing a slider, ensuring the tabs are hooked properly, then sliding it down the risers and reaching behind my head to find a rubber band or magnetic flap.
Stowing a collapsible slider behind my head takes me all of about 5 seconds, and requires no rigging back on the ground. For me that is a much better solution than a removable slider.
I hate collapsing sliders or trying to pull them past my toggles, or having to deal with the slider before releasing the toggles. It can all get too messy when your job during and after deployment is to keep an eye out for other skydivers. The removable slider takes away all the hassle when it matters.
To me, there’s two reasons one would want to remove their slider: (A) For high performance canopy pilots looking to reduce drag and optimise wing shape/performance. (B) For any jumper who’s looking to increase their visibility range and circle of awareness while under canopy.
Just remember that a removable slider that fails for some reason can cause a hard opening which may kill you.
Keep in mind that the highest percentage of skydiving injuries/incidents occur under functioning canopies and are mostly all related to poor awareness of surroundings, leading to canopy collisions. This is especially true when people take a long time to sort out their collapsible slider or pull it past the control toggles. A removable slider solves this problem.
You can get your gear packed by almost anyone with stock slider. Would you still use a packer with your removable slider or RDS? My conclusion after 150 jumps on it, is that it is worth it. I don’t use a packer, and if I did, I would stow the brakes and re connect the slider before I gave it to them.
At 200 jumps I installed a removable slider and it is one of the best investments to my gear yet. It requires less time to stow in the air, and provides a greater field of view while scanning for other traffic. It is no more complicated to reattach than stowing your brakes. Yes it takes a little more time on the ground but I think it’s worth it. I also seems more likely that someone would forget to uncolapse their slider, than forget to put the whole thing back on. The problem is that most skydivers perceive “new” as “dangerous” when in fact it is the “old” and “complacent” that kills us most often.
With a removable slider the first thing I do is release my toggles and head towards the drop zone after looking around for others. I then reach up with one hand pull the slider and stick it down my jumpsuit. To me this is far safer than a lot of collapsible slider systems. The added safety in the air is balanced out by having to assemble your slider again when packing which can be done incorrectly. However, it’s a very easy task to learn and after a little practice it’s just like stowing your brakes. no hassle at all.
I have been looking into fitting a removable slider to my Sabre 2 135, not so much as to reduce drag but more to give me a better field of view and so the slider doesn’t interfere with my gopro. I am cautious about using a skytie due to its proximity to the reserve pin etc, and also because my vision is still partially blocked by the slider. Also, removing a slider looks to be quicker than collapsing it then trying to stick it in the skytie. As I always pack myself, re-attaching the slider shouldn’t be a problem, I am happy to spend the extra minute re-attaching it….