Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 will be updating the name of the “mute grab” to honor the creator of the move, Chris Weddle.
Tony Hawk took to Instagram to explain the reasons for the change, citing the inventor of the move. When the grab was originally named in 1981, it was debuted by Weddle, who is deaf. The trick was thusly named after the skater in a roundabout and ultimately mistaken way. The community at the time “referred to him as the ‘quiet, mute guy,’” Hawk explained in a recent social media post.
“So it became known as the mute air, and we all went along with it in our naive youth,” he continued.
As the years went by, Hawk continued to chat with Weddle — who still skates — about the trick and its origins.
“He has been very gracious in his response but it is obvious that a different name would have honored his legacy, as he is hearing impaired but not lacking speech,” Hawk said.
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For nearly 40 years, we’ve shamelessly referred to this trick as the “mute” air/grab. Here is the backstory: around 1981, a deaf skater and Colton skatepark local named Chris Weddle was a prominent amateur on the competition circuit. The “Indy” air had just been created & named so somebody proposed that grabbing with the front hand should be known as the “Tracker” air. Others countered that Chris was the first to do, so it should be named after him. They referred to him as the “quiet, mute guy.” So it became known as the mute air, and we all went along with it in our naive youth. In recent years a few people have reached out to Chris (who still skates) about this trick and the name it was given. He has been very gracious in his response but it is obvious that a different name would have honored his legacy, as he is hearing impaired but not lacking speech. I asked him last year as I was diving into trick origins and he said he would have rather named it the “deaf” or “Weddle” grab if given the choice. His exact quote to me was “I am deaf, not mute.” So as we embark on the upcoming @tonyhawkthegame demo release, some of you might notice a trick name change: The Weddle Grab. It’s going to be challenging to break the habit of saying the old name but I think Chris deserves the recognition. Thanks to @darrick_delao for being a great advocate to the deaf community in action sports, and for being the catalyst in this renaming process. I told Chris tecently and his reply was “I’m so stoked!” And then he shot this photo in celebration yesterday. : @yousta_storytellers_club
Weddle told Hawk he would “rather named it the ‘deaf’ or ‘Weddle’ grab if given the choice,” as he wasn’t mute in the first place. And so, going forward in the upcoming games, the trick will be renamed to “The Weddle Grab,” much to Weddle’s approval.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 will be released on Sept. 4 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. A demo is coming soon, which our reviewer described as “the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater I remember.”