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If you're dropping into the warehouse demo for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 this weekend, you might notice a few new tricks that seem familiar. As Hawk and developer Vicarious Visions have gone back through skate history, they've decided to change the name of one well-known skate trick, in order to better honor the legacy of its creator.
The tricks, dubbed the Weddle Grab, Weddle Backflip, and Reacharound Invert, replace the longstanding "Mute" denomination. Over on Hawk's Instagram, Tony retraces some skate history to explain why the trick has been "shamelessly" referred to as the "mute air/grab."
In 1981, a deaf skater named Chris Weddle was a prominent competitor in the amateur skating circuit. The "Indy air," where the skater grabs the toeside of their board with the back hand, had just been created, and so a name for grabbing with the front hand went up for debate. Some noted that Weddle was the first to do it, and so it should bear his name.
"They referred to him as the 'quiet, mute guy,'" writes Hawk. "So it became known as the mute air, and we all went along with it in our naive youth."
In recent years, Hawk notes that a few people (including himself) have reached out to Weddle, who is still skating, about the name. It's become obvious in hindsight that another name would have been a better bearer of his legacy, with Weddle suggesting the "deaf" or "Weddle" grab. "His exact quote to me was, 'I am deaf, not mute,'" Hawk says.
So in honor of that, the trick will be called the Weddle Grab in the upcoming Tony Hawk release. "It's going to be challenging to break the habit of saying the old name but I think Chris deserves the recognition," Hawk says. When told about the change, Weddle replied that he was "stoked" and shot a photo in celebration, which Hawk shared on his Instagram.
In Activision's blog detailing the many tricks available in the upcoming demo, it notes the similar change to the grab. "These tricks were created by Chris Weddle, a skater with hearing loss, who pioneered all three tricks," the blog reads. "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 the full game."
Our own Caty McCarthy got a chance to test-run the Warehouse demo, which sounds like a blast of nostalgia back to the original Warehouse demo, including the crushingly difficult 900. It's also got a few jams from the soundtrack for the upcoming games, including Rage Against the Machine's "Guerilla Radio" and, yes, "Superman" by Goldfinger. The demo goes live on Friday for those who pre-ordered or, alternatively, bought a fairly basic burrito from Chipotle.