The Rat’s Nest: Jason Collins finds the surfing fisherman’s utopia.

Welcome to Rat’s new nest. Ratboy recently relocated himself into a crib strategically next to his two biggest passions in life—surfing and fishing. His house (built back in 1970) is about a 200-yard stone’s toss from the boat-launching ramp in the main harbor of Santa Cruz, California, and about a 500 yards from the world-class and very famous Santa Cruz Harbor Mouth surf break. This is one of Ratboy’s favorite waves in the whole wide world.

No more fighting through Santa Cruz cross-town traffic for Rat. Whether he wants to beat the boat-ramp crowd on the opening day of salmon season or get a few stellar moments during the perfect tide at the Harbor Mouth—now he lives right in the zone!

This cool little place was originally built as a guest house/bachelor pad by 78-year-old Howard and 81-year-old Arthur (Rat’s landlords), who live in the front house. Filled with classic late 60s/early 70s motif—Rat’s house represents the era in which it was built. It’s fully equipped with accordion doors, a minibar, fake-brick linoleum floors, a faux-wood fireplace powered by gas, a torn pool table, chandeliers, blue glass windows, and pimped-out vintage wallpaper in the master bedroom. The outside is painted lime green with a bright red door—a color combo so wild-looking you could only imagine it in some trippy dream or old movie.


Right when you walk in the front door, you’re welcomed by a pool table that looks like it’s seen its fair share of action. As you turn left, walking over the faux-brick linoleum floor and passing one of the many accordion doors, you enter a living room with a minibar and kitchen combo. The living room has a full view of the Harbor—perfect for checking out wind conditions and boat-ramp crowds. As you move outside onto the deck, you’re met by the tranquil sound of the crashing surf—the type of sound that makes you feel as if you’re standing right on the beach, probably because you almost are. The only thing separating Rat’s crib from the beach is two rows of houses. As you make a U-turn back into his house, you’ll pass through the bathroom and find yourself standing in the bedroom. And what a bedroom it is! It reminds me of one of those scenes from an old James Bond move or something—let’s get it on 70s style!

Professional surfer Jason “Ratboy” Collins was born and raised in Santa Cruz, and after all those years, he’s landed himself in the perfect location for the two loves of his life—waves and fish.—Omar Etcheverry