Tony Hawk made an inspirational post on his Instagram yesterday. The title ‘mute grab’ isn’t fitting for the deaf skateboarder who is regarding to be the first to do the front-hand grab back in ’81. And Hawk has made the call to change the trick name in the new release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, which drops this September.
“For nearly 40 years, we’ve shamelessly referred to this trick as the ‘mute’ air/grab,” Hawk posted on Insta. “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 and 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 honoured 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 recently and his reply was ‘I’m so stoked!’ And then he shot this photo in celebration yesterday.”