Tony Hawk explains why he's renaming an iconic skateboarding trick

CATEGORIES: SkateboardingWeddle
PUBLISHED: August 17, 2020

And there’s a really, really good reason for that, which Hawk explained on Instagram this week.

He said that back in 1981, a skater named Chris Weddle who was deaf was the first to do a certain trick, an Indy air with the front hand. Skaters thought Weddle should have been given the credit.

“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,” Hawk wrote.

It became “obvious” that the name should be changed since Weddle was hearing impaired and not non-verbal. So Hawk recently asked Weddle what he’d prefer, to which he said “deaf” or “Weddle.”

So “The Weddle Grab” will replace the original name in the upcoming Tony Hawk remakes. And Weddle was happy about it, as Hawk recounted:

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!”