Permastoked with Derik Hyatt

Pastor “Waikiki” Jack Nordgren: The Greatest Story Ever Told (About Surfing on Lake Michigan)

July 3, 2020

In this episode, Derik Hyatt interviews Great Lakes and Hawaiian surfer and the author of Life Lessons from Proverbs (Practical applications for life from the book of Proverbs), A Lake Surfer’s Journey, Wave Chasers (Searching for Surf on Lake Michigan), Wave Chasers 2 (Searching for Surf on the Great Lakes) and S.U.R.F Journal, Pastor “Waikiki” Jack Nordgren.

Jack was born and raised on the South side of Chicago. At the ripe young age of 15 he absolutely fell, head over heels, in love with surfing. His friends asked him to try out their boards while on summer vacation in Michigan.  He then became as he terms it, a surf-a-holic.  He ate, breathed, and lived surfing.

After high school, to avoid the draft, he joined the Navy. There he spent almost 2 years aboard a nuclear submarine.  During that time, he married his high school sweetheart, Maree, but also began to experiment with drugs.  Through a series of heart-wrenching events he came to the end of his perverbial rope.  He then began reading the Bible. God revealed Himself to Jack and he asked Jesus to take over his whole life.  He soon led Jack and his family to a ministry in Waikiki Beach.

In 1984, a small Bible study of ex-drug dealers and users, under Jack's leadership became Hope Chapel South Shore.  After 22 years of pastoring and surfing in Waikiki Beach, he and his wife moved to Michigan to continue ministering and surfing.  Jack has since retired and returned to Waikiki to surf and spend time with his 11 grandchildren.

Join us in this episode as Jack shares his humble 1960’s surf beginnings on Lake Michigan, his time in the Navy, surrendering to God and ministering in Hawaii, surfing, faith and he even offers up valuable marriage advice.

Connect with Jack Nordgren at or on Facebook and Instagram @jacknordgren.  His books are available on Amazon, including: Life Lessons from Proverbs (Practical applications for life from the book of Proverbs), A Lake Surfer’s Journey, Wave Chasers (Searching for Surf on Lake Michigan), Wave Chasers 2 (Searching for Surf on the Great Lakes) and S.U.R.F Journal.

This episode was recorded on May 27, 2020.  It is family friendly.

We acknowledge that this episode was recorded on the unceded, ancestral and occupied traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish Peoples.  As we live, work, surf and play, we say Mahalo to the Métis, Inuit and Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island and from around the world, who have stewarded these lands and sacred surf spots for thousands of years. 

This podcast is available free for streaming and download on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.  You can also watch the Show on our Freshwater Surf Goods YouTube Channel.  Be sure to listen, rate, review and share! 

To reach Derik Hyatt for comments, questions, collaboration, sponsorship, business enquiries or bookings, including SUP and yoga, please email

Permastoked is brought to you by Freshwater Surf Goods.  Your surf brand devoted to spreading the stoke across the unsalted seas and cultivating pride amongst the surf community.  We do this by providing products and apparel that celebrate the awesomeness of both Great Lakes and Canadian surf culture.

For more information, visit and be sure to sign up for our newsletter.  You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Mahalo for listening.  Stay stoked!










Mark Malibu & The Wasagas for providing our intro music “Hey Chiwawa” from their 2009 album entitled Crash Monster Beach and our outro music “End of Summer” off their 2017 album Return of the Wasagas.  For more information, visit  Find them on iTunes or wherever you get your music.

Damajuana reggae uploaded by detroitbase on 2019-08-30 to  Public License available at  (Original length = 2:30. Modified to 2:00.)

Ukelele Parade by Fernando Oyaguez Reyes published May 22, 2014 and uploaded to  Public License available at  (Original length = 2:44. Modified to 1:07.)

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