Why ‘Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 And 2’ Changed The Name Of A Classic Move

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 And 2 has gotten a lot of buzz in recent weeks, as the Activision remastering of the skateboard video game classics is a few short weeks away from a release date. The game’s Warehouse demo will hit many consoles on Friday, and when it does players may notice some significant tweaks to the name that some tricks have gotten. According to Activision and Tony Hawk himself, the changes are a way to pay tribute to their creator and right a longstanding wrong among skateboarders.

Specifically, the “mute grab” is gone, renamed the Weddle grab. Activision’s rundown of what the Warehouse demo has in store for fans also has an explanation for some renamed tricks, including what most players will know as the “mute grab.”

You may also notice a few newly named tricks: Weddle Grab, Weddle Backflip, and Reacharound Invert. These tricks were created by Chris Weddle, a skater with hearing loss, who pioneered all three tricks. 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.

And as Tony Hawk himself explained in an Instagram post, the rebranding of the tricks is an effort to not only give Weddle credit for the moves, but also to more accurately frame the skater’s importance in the skate community as well as correct the “naive” way the trick was named by skaters much younger and less understanding than they are today.

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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 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

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The post recounts the origins of the “mute” name, which came not from Weddle’s disability but his quiet nature at the park. But over the years as the sport grew, Hawk and others felt he wasn’t properly being recognized for the moves and Weddle himself preferred it had a different name, and so it will appear differently in the game next month.

It’s a really cool tribute to Weddle that also adds context to what many fans may not know about the sport’s history. Countless gamers got introduced to skateboarding culture and terminology thanks to THPS, and many wouldn’t know the origins of tricks and their creators without that added context. It’s one of a number of things Activision is updating in the remaster, and so far, it looks like they’re getting things right this time around.