Skateboard legend Tony Hawk is, by all accounts, a decent guy. His Wikipedia page has a section dedicated to ‘Philanthropy’ as opposed to ‘Controversy,’ which is a pretty good sign. And Hawk has even used his eponymous video game series to demonstrate that he might be the most thoughtful person to ever pull off a 900.
In August 2020 just before the remastered versions of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2 were released, Hawk announced that one of the tricks featured in the OG game would be renamed for future releases. The “Mute Air” or “Mute Grab,” a move where the skater “[uses] their front hand to grab the toe side of the skateboard between [their] feet as they turn backside” was given its original name as a reference to the skater who originated it.
On Instagram, Hawk wrote that Chris Weddle, who is deaf, was the amateur skateboarder credited with pulling the move off for the first time in 1981. “[Other skaters] referred to him as the ‘quiet, mute guy,’” Hawk typed. “So it became known as the mute air, and we all went along with it in our naive youth.”
Hawk said that he’d personally reached out to Weddle to see how he felt about the trick’s name, and Weddle admitted that it could use a better moniker. “[H]e said he would have rather named it the ‘deaf’ or ‘Weddle’ grab if given the choice,” Hawk explained. “His exact quote to me was ‘I am deaf, not mute.’”
That was good enough for Hawk, and he honored Weddle’s wish in the Pro Skater re-release; the trick is now called 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.
And Tony Hawk also deserves some additional recognition. Maybe somebody can add a “Good Dude” section on Wikipedia.
Our Video Rewind this week is a round called “Grindhouse”. It’s a bunch of movies whose titles sound like skateboard tricks. Give it a watch!
Featured image courtesy of: Archeo3, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0