Dedication for this essay goes to SOFREP brother Alex Laserblast

Samuel Booth Foster was a kayaking phenomenon. As for the biggest, strongest brothers in the Combat Diver Academy, none of them could keep pace with Sam in a kayak. Even while power sailing, a technique where a kayak would paddle hard and erect a sail to profit from the wind, Sam would fly past them on paddle alone, dribbling mocking insults as he passed, customary for Sam.

Kayaks were a large part of the Waterborne Operations Course (WOC) that the dive school ran a few times a year in the day. It was six murderous weeks on the water and the men who attended began to refer to it as Ranger School on the Water. The course went on for barely a year until it was dropped for lack of support from the military Special Operations community.

Though the course dwindled and died, Sam and the Johannes Klepper Kayak remained and prevailed. Sam continued to torpedo himself and his kayak through the ocean waters surrounding Key West Florida. Sam and I even paddled out to the Five Mile Reef in our kayaks to do a scuba dive hunt for lobster. I learned to hunt lobster from Sam; the man was a fish — totally at home in his element at sea.