The Tourmaline Surfing Park, Pacific Beach

Name: Dan Belec

Home: Carlsbad

Vehicle: 2003 Ford Ranger XLT

Surfing: Tourmaline Surfing Park, Pacific Beach

The surf gear in Dan Belec's truck is minimal. He has a Block Surf pad to keep his Sunny Daze 6'1" fish surfboard from getting dinged on the tailgate. The truck itself is all the gear needed. "I throw the wetsuit, towel, and wet board in the back. It's fine. The interior of the truck is rubber and it has a bed liner, so I don't worry about rust.

"I got the truck when my girlfriend -- my wife now -- borrowed my last truck for her commute. She left me with her old Honda CRX. That thing had no stereo and no air. It was a rolling greenhouse. And with the problems it had, it was just waiting until I got to a stretch of the I-5 to catch fire. So, I started shopping around for cars and figured I'd get one mainly for surfing. It's all rubberized and plastic coated; if it gets wet or sandy I shop-vac it or hose it and I'm done."

Dan's a drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Point Loma. He's been surfing for a little more than a year and says it's hard to get away from work, especially when he has a platoon of new recruits. "If I got even three hours away from base I'd be surfing. We're working 24/7 when we've got a platoon."

Dan's duty has shifted from pushing recruits to teaching them Marine history, which allows him a little more time to surf. He leaves his board in the back of his truck at work with no security device to lock it. "Nobody steals on MCRD," he says. "Nobody's that stupid."

The only other thing Dan brings with him wherever he goes: dill-pickle--flavored sunflower seeds. "A lot of drill instructors or teachers chew tobacco. I don't. The only thing I have are these damned sunflower seeds. And they're almost as bad."

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