Looks like graphics aren’t the only thing being updated in the upcoming remaster of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2. One of the game’s famous tricks, the “mute grab”, will be getting a name change to better represent the person that came up with it.
The trick was first performed by a deaf skater named Chris Weddle in 1981, who, at the time, was referred to by some as the “quiet, mute guy”. But deaf and mute and two very different things, so to better honour his legacy, it’ll now be known as the “Weddle grab”.
Tony Hawk himself took to Instagram to explain the story, touching on the importance of deaf representation in games and skating.
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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
Seems like a good dude, that Tony Hawk.
You’ll be able to have a go at the newly renamed Weddle grab in the upcoming demo for the Pro Skater 1 + 2 remasters if you’ve pre-ordered the game or (and this is one of the weirder things I’ll write today) if you’re one of the first 2000 people to buy a special burrito from Chipotle.
The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 remaster are releasing as one game on September 4th on the Epic Games Store for PC. It’ll be on Xbox One and PS4, too. Take a look at the game’s website for more info.