Austin Hironaka Ambush

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Photo: Crispin Cannon

Interview by Chris Nieratko

What are you wearing right now, Austin? I mean, what are you doing?

Driving to San Diego from Seattle, but going to Vegas first.

You must be high… you know there’s no snow in San Diego.

No, there’s no snow in San Diego. I’m getting a camper top on my Honda

Element and this place in San Diego is the only place that does it.

Have you been to Vegas before? What kind of trouble have you gotten

into there?

I heard what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

That’s bullshit. Good stories are meant to be shared.

But the ones that are good you never remember anyway. On this trip we

have no plans but to drink beers and see where it leads to. A good plan

is no plan.

Where the bud at? You holding?

That’s usually the case. You never know when you’re going to need it.

I heard you’re the go-to weed guy.

Thank you. That’s an honor. It’s the cure-all so you might as well always

have it. Some people would like to have a six-pack of beer to have in

their backpack at all times. I’d like to have a six-pack of joints in my

pocket at all times.

I heard you generally travel with the pre-rolls.

Nah, the FAA might be coming looking for me after this interview. You’re

not supposed to fly with marijuana, Chris. That’s bad.

But maybe you know a friend that does?

Yeah, this friend of mine I heard he did it a couple times. It’s sketchy he

said. Super sketchy. But I think he’s still alive and doing all right.

Weed is legal in your home state of Washington now, correct?

It’s legal for anyone over the age of 21 just like if you were to go get a

beer. However they pop you at the state store. Say you go in to buy an

eighth, 3.5 grams, it’d be almost $90. Usually you’re paying $40 bucks

an eighth or $10 a gram but at the state stores it’s more than double

because of them taxing it.

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Gap to Switch Backside Lipslide, Quebec. Photo: Crispin Cannon

So why the fuck would anybody go there?

Because Joe Smoe, like your typical business guy, who doesn’t have a

weed guy is just going to go to the state store. But there’s always going

to be a black market.

How have things changed in Washington since they legalized it?

I think it’s pretty crazy that the whole thing went down to begin with

because of the way old America looked at weed and now with it becoming

legal in more and more states is pretty wild. Washington as a state is

realizing the potential of the revenue it can bring in and they’re embracing

it more and more stores are going up; it’s a full on green rush here.

Do you use it for any medicinal reasons or do you just like to get high?

Yeah, my back kills me, dude. I use it for my back, for mental stress relief,

for everything. Like I said, it’s a cure-all.

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Boardslide, Revelstoke, BC. Photo: Crispin Cannon

With Canada being so relaxed on weed, when you go up there do

you just go crazy, like showing up at the orgy and just dropping

all your clothes?

No, being in snowboarding we always have readily available weed.

But it’s like Washington there. I love Canada. I just went to Japan

for two weeks and I got back and I fucking hate this country

[America]. I’m so ready to get out. There’s such a lack of respect

here and there’s a bunch of lazy, fat people.

Don’t you think if we legalize marijuana everywhere in America

people are just going to get fatter and lazier?

Maybe people will ease up and start saying what’s up to each


But then we’d have no power because the guy at the power plant

got real high and forgot to go to work.

I think we need to have a nationwide experiment where we hot box

the ozone layer and everyone gets stoned for a day and see how it

effects everybody.

You love the hot boxing, huh? I heard you once hot boxed an

entire cabin. How many joints does that take?

Fuck. A lot. We brought weed but this kid that showed up—he really

brought weed. For every king-sized joint that I rolled this kid

rolled a cigar joint. I asked him why he rolled such fat joints and

he said, “I have fat fingers. That’s just how I roll them.” It was like a

quarter ounce of weed in a joint.

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Ollie Gap to Frontside Boardslide, Quebec. Photo: Crispin Cannon

Do you live in the woods in Washington?

Yeah, pretty much. I just moved to this little lake an hour outside

Tacoma. My old man lives out there and he’s getting pretty old so I

moved out to kick it with him. Unfortunately he just had a stroke in

August. It went from kicking it and hearing his stories to wiping his

ass and taking care of him.

That stuff makes you appreciate life even more.

Totally. I started hugging all my friends, telling them I love them.

They’re like, “Dude. Get off me.”

I’d hug you right back. Having a friend who knows how to wipe

another man’s ass is a good quality to have in a friend.

Hell yeah! Thanks.

What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done high?

Back in high school I was rolling around in a car with a buddy and

we decided it would be a good idea to shoot random people with

a blow gun. I stuck a few and those few called the cops and it was

a huge deal. It was all over every channel’s news, all over the radio

stations; it was the talk of the town for a week. I kind of fucked up

there. I got ratted on and got arrested. At first they wanted to hit

me with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a twoyear

max jail sentence. I was 17 at the time so they were going to

try and give me six months in Juvie and the remainder in county. I

obviously pleaded not guilty to that deal and then it got dropped

to assault in the fourth degree and they slapped me with 60 hours

of community service and 48 days of house arrest; so that wasn’t

too bad of a punishment. I got pretty good at playing video games,

eating and getting high.

On the flip side, what’s the smartest thing you’ve ever done


Everything else in my life.

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