When Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 releases next month, fans of the original games might notice that one of the tricks has been renamed. On Instagram, Tony Hawk revealed that the Mute air/grab has been renamed the Weddle Grab after its originator, Chris Weddle. Weddle is deaf, and was often considered quiet by his fellow skaters. In what Tony Hawk refers to as their "naive youth," the skaters gave it the original name. Tony Hawk reached out to Weddle last year, asking him what name he might prefer to see in the game, prompting the change. The full story can be found in the Instagram post below.
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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
While the change might take some getting used to, the new name is far more fitting, and a great way to honor its creator. As Tony Hawk says in the above post, the original name was meant to honor Weddle, but clearly fell short of its intention. The world has significantly changed since 1981, and the new name will help Activision's upcoming game properly reflect that.
Of course, the Weddle Grab won't be the only change fans will find in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2. The game has a number of updates to the original titles, including several new music tracks, and updated looks for the game's skaters. It remains to be seen whether or not the game will be able to live-up to the legacy of the originals, but these updates seem like a great way to respect the history of those games, while also making them more accessible to newcomers.
Do you plan on checking out Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2? Are you happy to see this trick's name changed? Let us know in the comments or share directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!