When neck braces first began to be a more common sight on the World Cup circuit around 2008, they were usually wrapped around the necks of riders like Sam Blenkinsop, Andrew Neethling, and Aaron Gwin. Over the years some of these riders stopped wearing them, while others, like Sam Hill, adopted their use later on. However, there are riders that have run the length of time with neck braces and continue to do so – Danny Hart is one rider that comes to mind, and he also dispels the rumors that have been flung about of racers foregoing their use because they felt the brace slowed them down. Despite riders like Danny continuing to use a brace, it would be short-sighted to say they're still as popular as they were a few years ago.
It's not just on the World Cup circuit that we're seeing a decline in their use, though, with the drop in their use being pretty evident on the local trails too. For example, at their height – let's say around 2010–2012 – probably somewhere between 30–50% of riders in the Whistler Bike Park were wearing a neck brace – they were a really common sight. Today that's definitely not the case, with neck braces in the bike park being far closer to sightings of a Tasmanian Tiger – rare.
Without a doubt, there are more than a few of you reading this that have a neck brace on a shelf somewhere in your home, collecting dust. So why are people not wearing neck braces anymore? Is it lack of proof around their success with preventing injury? Comfort? Price? Maybe you're still wearing one and want to let us know why you do? We're keen to know, so hit the link below and fill out the online survey. Click here to fill out the Neck Brace Survey