Kit Deger, Waterman, Founder of Chair in the Air, volunteer for the Fiji Surfing Association junior program & all around legend and nice guy, passed away suddenly in FIji at age 47 after two epic days of surfing Cloudbreak.
Kit had a deep respect for the ocean…a love and appreciation for the beauty in wave. This permeated through to his approach to life…passion for his work and appreciation for all those he met. The first time I met Kit was during a first aid course update at the Fiji Beachouse. I remember he jumped in at any chance he could to tell tales of his encounters with dangerous marine creatures. He seemed to have been everywhere. Through my year of volunteering with Kit in the area of junior surfing development in the FSA, I learnt so much from him; in particular, his fluid and cool style of surfing, his strategies in coaching, and the way he communicated with people. He captivated everyone with a story every now and again, reminding us how beautiful yet dangerous and powerful the ocean is.
Kit was committed to the development of surfing in Fiji, especially in regards to junior surfing development. He volunteered countless hours to by helping coordinate competitions. He was around for the whole of the Volcom Fiji Pro 2012, helping out in any way he could. Associations need more people like Kit…people who are willing to volunteer their time and energy into something that really drives them. Kit’s love for surfing permeated through the association and really gave everyone that extra buzz of energy. He could talk for hours of how to enhance the involvement of kids in the villages and how to contact people or gain funding.
Kit and I traveled along the south coast of the main island of Viti Levu with elite surf coach, Ian ‘Porto’ Portingale in July last year. We had a lot of time to chat over beers and sing in Go Surf Fiji’s black monster truck. Listening to them talk about their lives was like absorbing a whole history book on surfing from the 50’s through to present day. I was slave to their lame dad jokes and regular road side toilet breaks, but I remember it as one of the most rewarding and hilarious weeks I spent in Fiji whilst working for the FSA.
Cassandra Thomas, Surfing and Surf Life Saving Education Officer, Fiji Surfing Association
Kit was really pumped up when we first talked about him working on Fiji Surfing Assoc junior development. He had this idea about taking a group of young Fijians over to the East coast of Australia, hiring a large van and touring the kids around doing competitions.
He said he had a lot of people that would take them in and assist them in different ways. I’ve no doubt he had hundreds of friends in surfing & otherwise in Australia.
I would have loved to go along on one of those trips because guaranteed there would have been a ton of laughs & natural craziness, along with the training and heats!
That was Kit.
Loads of enthusiasm.
And he was always giving…
John Philp, President, Fiji Surfing Association
I’d met Kit years ago in Sydney and reconnected with him when he came to do the Level 1 Instructors course in Natadola, Fiji. Right from the start Kit had this infectious enthusiasm. He was so focused on helping the Fijian kids find the stoke in surfing like he had. He volunteered to do just about anything if it meant getting more Fijians into surfing. His passing will leave an enormous hole in Fijian junior development that will be hard to fill.
Ian “Porto” Portingale, Consulting Coach, Fiji Surfing Association