The Really Cool Gear
All of our other safety gear web pages give you information about the basic pieces of gear: helmets; long sleeved shirt, pants, and gloves - aka riding gear; and boots and eye protection. This page will talk about all of the additional options for riding gear.
Starting at the top and most important are the neck brace and neck roll. To quote from Phil Davy of Leatt®, "There are only 2 pieces of riding gear designed to save your life, the helmet and the neck brace". It is important enough that it should probably be listed as a basic piece of riding gear.
The neck brace sits on top of your shoulders and keeps your head from snapping either forward or backwards. This protects your spine and significantly limits the chance that your neck would be broken during a crash. Now, that is pretty cool.
A neck roll is for very small children whose neck isn't strong enough to hold up the weight of an off-road helmet on its own. Once a child grows, their neck will stretch a little and will get stronger. Each child is different, but at around eight or nine years of age, you probably want to switch from the neck roll to the neck brace.
Dirt Rider® Magazine wrote an awesome article about neck braces, their function, how they are tested, etc. for their May 2013 Issue. It is a great resource.