Home Gaming Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 has changed an ableist trick name, will instead honour its creator

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 has changed an ableist trick name, will instead honour its creator

4 min read
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THPS 1 and 2

Pop Shove-It. Kickflip McTwist. Varial Heelflip Judo. Not only are these moves that your mom and I are intimately familiar with, they’re also the names of some of the most recognisable tricks that you can pull off in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. There’s a laundry list of flips, ollies and grinds that have become part of the pro skater package over the years, ranging from innocuous-sounding moves such as the Freeflip to outlandishly-titled special tricks such as the Benihana and Christ Air.

One of the more standard feats that players could pull off in many a Tony Hawk game? A Mute Grab, which happens to be a challenging grab of your board while in the air. It’s a great trick, but one with a slightly checkered past and one that is getting a name change that honours its creator instead of poking fun at him.

In a new Instagram post, Tony Hawk explained how the “Mute Grab” was first performed by deaf skater Chris Weddle circa 1981. The trick needed a name, and Hawk’s fellow skaters suggested naming it after the “quiet, mute guy,” even though Weddle isn’t mute. The name circulated around the skateboarding scene for decades afterwards, but a new generation of skateboarders became aware of the trick’s history and reached out to Weddle about it.

Hawk revisited the origins of the trick, got back in touch with Weddle and the move was renamed to honour its inventor. “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,” Hawk said in an Instagram post.

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 Tony Hawk The Game 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.

And there you have it! Once Weddle was informed of the change, he even sent Hawk a photograph of him performing the rechristened trick, to celebrate it:

View this post on Instagram

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 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.” 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

A post shared by Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) on

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is pops a release date 1080 in September, but you can check out a demo of the Warehouse stage from this Friday if you pre-ordered the game.

Last Updated: August 13, 2020

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