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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater remaster renames the 'mute grab' to pay tribute to its creator

(Image credit: Activision)

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 are being remastered and released in a bundle this September, with HD graphics, "upgraded" Create-A-Park and Create-A-Skater tools, custom park sharing, and local and online multiplayer modes. But the best change may be something very different and entirely unexpected, revealed today by the man himself on his Instagram account: The "Mute Grab" is being renamed.

"Around 1981, a deaf skater and Colton skatepark local named Chris Weddle was a prominent amateur on the competition circuit," Hawk explained. "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 [it], so it should be named after him."

Weddle was apparently known around the park as the "quiet, mute guy," and, kids being kids, instead of his name, that's what stuck: It became known as the "mute air." More recently, though, people—including Hawk himself—have had second thoughts, and have reached out to Weddle about the 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 wrote. "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'."

And so it is that in the THPS remaster, the Mute Grab will be renamed to 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," Hawk wrote.

Two other tricks in the remaster are also getting new names: the Weddle Backflip and Reacharound Invert. "These tricks were created by Chris Weddle, a skater with hearing loss, who pioneered all three tricks," Activision wrote in a blog post. "With the launch of the remaster, Vicarious Visions was happy to celebrate Chris' legacy with the renames and hope fans enjoy these tricks, and dozens upon dozens more, in this demo and in the full game. "

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 is set to launch on the Epic Games Store on September 4.

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 Tony Hawk

A photo posted by @tonyhawk on Aug 12, 2020 at 8:40am PDT

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.