Pro skating legend Tony Hawk is formally changing the name of an iconic skateboarding move in order to honor the deaf skater who created it.
The mute grab, which involves a rider using their front hand to grab the toe side of the skateboard between the rider’s feet as they turn backside, is being changed to the “Weddle Grab” in the upcoming remaster of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2.
The change is being made in honor of Chris Weddle, a deaf skater who Hawk said was the first to do the trick.
Hawk took to Instagram to explain the decision behind the change.
He said that around 1981, shortly after the Indy air trick had been created, someone proposed that a similar move grabbing with the front hand should be called the “tracker air.” However, others pointed out that Weddle was the first to pull off the move, so it should be named after him.
“They referred to him as the ‘quiet, mute guy.’” Hawk wrote. “So, it became known as the mute air, and we all went along with it in our naive youth.”
Hawk wrote that while Weddle has been “very gracious in his response” when asked about the trick, it was obvious that a “different name would have honored his legacy.”
“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,” Hawk said.
“His exact quote to me was ‘I am deaf, not mute.’”
While Hawk believes that it will be “challenging to break the habit of saying the old name,” he believes that Weddle deserves the recognition.