Snowboarding trick "the mute" has been renamed ©FIS Snowboard

Snowboarding trick "the mute" has been renamed in honour of its inventor and deaf skateboarder Chris Weddle.  

Following on from the initiative of skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, the International Ski Federation (FIS) will be referring to the grab formerly known as the mute as the "Weddle" instead. 

Weddle was the first person to perform the trick in the 1980s. 

Hawk enacted the name change in August, explaining his motivation in an Instagram post. 

"Around 1981, a deaf skater and Colton skatepark local named Chris Weddle was a prominent amateur on the competition circuit," he said.

"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, 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." 

The trick has been renamed in honour of its inventor, Chris Weddle ©Twitter
The trick has been renamed in honour of its inventor, Chris Weddle ©Twitter 

FIS officials, including park and pipe contest director Roberto Moresi and snowboard judges coordinator Ola Sundekvist, voiced their support for the motion put forward by Hawk.

They claimed it would result in greater inclusivity of the language used in the communication and judging of snowboarding, and ensure recognition is granted to the originator of a foundational skate and snowboard grab. 

"So many tricks in snowboarding are based on tricks adopted from skateboarding," Sundekvist said.

"So we need to keep our respect for that skateboarding heritage and adjust with the skate world. 

"If something like this change has occurred there, we in snowboarding should adjust accordingly."

Weddle has also voiced his support for the name change by the FIS. 

"Thanks for changing and supporting," he said.

"I'm deaf, not mute, and I love snowboarding, too."