music The Best Surf Bands of All Time  

1.1k votes 291 voters 48k views 64 items Follow Embed

During the early years of rock music, surf bands provided the soundtrack to people's perception of what California was like through bright driving riffs. The best surf bands, at their peak, topped the charts and their catchy tunes remain popular today. The sound remains highly influential on genres like punk, rock and even rockabilly. Surfer music may have seemed light and fun when it came out, but the surf bands' influence can't be understated.

So, what are the best surf bands? Any list of surf bands has to include the likes of the Beach Boys, Dick Dale, Jan and Dean, Waaves and even Brian Wilson's solo material. Many people associate surf music with the Beach Boys and with good reason. Not only were they among the most popular rock bands, they brought quick-hitting, fun-loving surf music to the charts that spawned a huge number of top hits. As for the other surf bands, Dick Dale's influence on experimental rock and instrumental rock is still heard in music today. 

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best surf bands. If you notice that a band is missing, feel free to add them. Vote thumbs up for a band you think should be at the top of this poll, and vice versa if you don't think they should achieve a lofty status. This list answers the questions "who are the best surf music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest surf music musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular surf music bands that you might've heard of. (64 items)
list ordered by

1
+ - 68 22
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Dick Dale Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock

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2
+ - 77 28
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

3
+ - 47 12
The Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Surfaris Rock music, Surf music

4
+ - 24 3
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Ventures Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

5
+ - 39 15
Jan and Dean is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Jan and Dean Sunshine pop, Rock music, Folk rock

6
+ - 17 2
The Telestons is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

7
+ - 33 14
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

8
+ - 27 10
The Bel-Airs is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Bel-Airs Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music

9
+ - 24 9
The Astronauts is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Astronauts Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

10
+ - 16 4
Agent Orange is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Agent Orange Skate punk, Surf rock, Punk rock

11
+ - 18 6
The Atlantics is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Atlantics Rock music, Garage rock, Instrumental rock

12
+ - 24 12
The Mermen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Mermen Rock music, Surf music

13
+ - 13 5
The Sandals is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Sandals Surf music

14
+ - 21 13
The Bambi Molesters is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Bambi Molesters Instrumental rock, Surf music

15
+ - 11 4
Eddie & the Showmen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Eddie & the Showmen Rock music

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16
+ - 13 6
The Centurions is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

17
+ - 13 6
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Tornados Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

18
+ - 10 4
The Livelyones is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Livelyones Lead guitar: Jim MasonerRhythm guitar: Ed ChiaveriniBass guitar: Ron GriffithSaxophone: Joel WillenbringDrums: Tim FitzpatrickThe greatest surf band off alltime.

19
+ - 14 8
The Growlers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Growlers Garage rock, Psychedelic rock

20
+ - 18 12
Surf Punks is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Surf Punks Pop punk, Rock music, Surf rock

21
+ - 14 9
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Plane... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

22
+ - 13 9
The Surf Trio is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Surf Trio Surf rock, Surf music

23
+ - 12 8
The Surf Coasters is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Surf Coasters Surf rock, Psychedelic rock, Surf music

24
+ - 12 8
Wavves is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Wavves Pop punk, Noise rock, Garage rock

25
+ - 10 6
Ronny & The Daytonas is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Ronny & The Daytonas Rock music, Rock and roll, Surf rock

26
+ - 10 6
Original Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Original Surfaris Surf rock, Surf music

27
+ - 9 5
The Blue Hawaiians is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Blue Hawaiians Rock music, Surf music

28
+ - 9 6
Jack Johnson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Jack Johnson Indie pop, Tropical rock, Pop music

29
+ - 9 6
The Rip-Chords is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

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30
+ - 8 5
The Hondells is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Hondells Rock music

31
+ - 7 4
Davie Allan and the Arrows is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

32
+ - 7 4
The Livelyones is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

33
+ - 5 2
FIDLAR is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

34
+ - 3 0
The Chantays is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

35
+ - 10 8
Best Coast is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Best Coast Indie pop, Garage rock, Indie rock

36
+ - 8 6
Red Elvises is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Red Elvises Lounge music, Ska, Rock music

37
+ - 8 6
The Barracudas is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Barracudas Jangle pop, Pop punk, Garage rock

38
+ - 2 0
The Torquays is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

39
+ - 9 8
The Honeys is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Honeys Pop music, Rock and roll, Surf music

40
+ - 9 8
The 5.6.7.8's is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The 5.6.7.8's Rock music, Rockabilly, Garage punk

41
+ - 5 4
The Raybeats is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Raybeats Surf rock, Surf music

42
+ - 4 3
Al Casey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

43
+ - 1 0
The Aqua Velvets is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

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44
+ - 6 6
The Phantom Surfers is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Phantom Surfers Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music

45
+ - 3 3
The Rebels is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

46
+ - 1 1
Cafe Del Mar is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

47
+ - 1 1
The Moon-Rays is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Moon-Rays The Moon-Rays mixture of 60's surf, exotica,and Mancini-esq jazz got their first album the JPF Indie award for best surf album, and since recorded four other albums for the SVI label as well as being featured in four feature ...

48
+ - 5 6
Surfer Blood is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Surfer Blood Pop punk, Shoegazing, Alternative rock

49
+ - 4 5
Surf City is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

50
+ - 1 2
Royale Monarchs is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Royale Monarchs Rock music