Tony Hawk has announced he will be changing the name of a skateboard trick in his video game “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” to honour the deaf skateboarder who created it.
This week, the professional skateboarder revealed the mute grab, which sees a skater using their front hand to grab the skateboard between their feet as they turn, will now be referred to as the Weddle Grab for its creator Chris Weddle.
“For nearly 40 years, we’ve shamelessly referred to this trick as the ‘mute’ air/grab,” Hawk explained on Instagram. “Here is the backstory: around 1981, a deaf skater and Colton skate park local named Chris Weddle was a prominent amateur on the competition circuit.
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“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.”
According to Hawk, at the time, Weddle was referred to as the “quiet, mute guy,” so the trick became known as the “mute air,” which the skateboarder said “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,” Hawk continued. “He has been very gracious in his response but it is obvious that a different name would have honoured his legacy, as he is deaf 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.’”
“It’s going to be challenging to break the habit of saying the old name but I think Chris deserves the recognition,” Hawk wrote of the decision to rename the trick The Weddle Grab, adding that Weddle was “stoked” when he learned of the change and sent Hawk a photo of himself doing the trick.
Following Hawk’s announcement, many praised the 52-year-old for changing the name.
“Tony Hawk continues to show us what it means to be cool,” one person tweeted.
Another said: “That’s awesome! It’s never too late to make things right.”