I do like this. Although I think crowd sourcing reviews is a better indication of what people think. It's hard though to get a feel for someone's frame of reference. Eg someone downsizing to a 135 7cell canopy may find it "amazing to swoop" but their last canopy may have been a 150, for example. I think we'd need to know what experience they had.
Eg how many jumps have you on that Epicene? What prior canopy experience do you have? etc
I suggested something similar to crowd sourcing reviews a long time back to Lesley when she was editor of Skydive the Mag. I wonder if there's a quick way to find that post. Hmmm.
We disagree on the crowd sourcing ;-) I think most skydivers are blinded by their investments so vastly give positive reviews without having tried much else (e.g. everyone I've heard from who owns one loves an SWS Fire, but when I talk to riggers who don't own them they're generally a little more sceptical). Perhaps people are also afraid to air constructive (or negative) views for other reasons? I don't think there's enough "calling it how it is" in skydiving.
I would get a dedicated (known history) group - perhaps 5 people, one with 50 jumps, one with 100, one with 200, one with 500 and one with 1000+ to each give their independent view on a bit of kit - then you've got a range of views based on hopefully pre-defined scoring criteria. The idea would be that people would trust that group to represent a section of active jumpers - and to provide their feedback on a level playing field.
For example, if you crowd sourced reviews of McDonalds - you would get a range of views from the drunken fool (me) saying "It's awesome!" to the vegetarian saying "It doesn't really have anything for me" - but with no perspective of what their view entails, and no idea whether it's a quality restaurant for your third date with a new girlfriend
The idea isn't that this replaces crowd sourced reviews - just... compliments it... y'know... symbiotically
Epicene - I have 8 jumps on one - so no, I'm not qualified to make that judgement from a "non-crowd sourced" perspective. But first impressions count, and I can tell you some of the people with hundreds of jumps on them are Squirrel Fan-boys who will worship the ground underneath their sponsor's feet - which makes their view as equally invalid as my own, no?
I have 930-ish jumps (I think a little more than that) - of which most are on Safire 2s, Sabre 1s, Spectres etc. ranging from 170-119. I have (say) 75 jumps on 190+ canopies as well, but I didn't have a clue what "flying" meant back then. It was more controlled stoofing it in
For canopies, I would suggest 10-20 jumps before a review could be made. For containers, that could be hundreds before you really see how well it's holding up to wear/stretching etc.
p.s. I'm not saying I should be one of the people to do these reviews. I'm too verbose, and too cynical