Bands/Musicians The Best Surf Bands of All Time  

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1.3k votes 358 voters 50.4k views 64 items

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)

1
89 30
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

2
94 35
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
56 14
The Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Surfaris Rock music, Surf music

4
34 5
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
darin-green added The Ventures Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

5
44 19
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
33 11
The Bel-Airs is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Bel-Airs Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music

7
29 10
The Astronauts is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Astronauts Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

8
38 18
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

9
29 13
The Mermen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Mermen Rock music, Surf music

10
17 3
The Telestons is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Lino Herakles Tesco added The Telestons

11
18 5
Agent Orange is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
sjw674 added Agent Orange Skate punk, Surf rock, Punk rock

12
20 7
The Atlantics is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Atlantics Rock music, Garage rock, Instrumental rock

13
17 5
The Sandals is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Sandals Surf music

14
6 0
The Torquays is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
GregerNordstrom added The Torquays

The Best Surf Rock Bands

15
13 4
Eddie & the Showmen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Eddie & the Showmen Rock music

16
15 6
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Tornados Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

17
14 6
The Centurions is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

18
22 14
The Bambi Molesters is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Bambi Molesters Instrumental rock, Surf music

19
13 6
Ronny & The Daytonas is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Ronny & The Daytonas Rock music, Rock and roll, Surf rock

20
16 9
The Growlers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Growlers Garage rock, Psychedelic rock

21
20 13
Surf Punks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Surf Punks Pop punk, Rock music, Surf rock

The Greatest One-Hit Wonder Songs of the 70s

22
7 1
The Chantays is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
GregerNordstrom added The Chantays

23
12 6
The Livelyones is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
RobGriffith added The Livelyones Lead guitar: Jim MasonerRhythm guitar: Ed ChiaveriniBass guitar: Ron GriffithSaxophone: Joel WillenbringDrums: Tim FitzpatrickThe greatest surf band off alltime.

24
13 7
Original Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Original Surfaris Surf rock, Surf music

25
14 9
The Surf Trio is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Surf Trio Surf rock, Surf music

26
9 4
The Livelyones is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
RobGriffith added The Livelyones

27
15 10
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Plane... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

28
11 6
The Rip-Chords is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

The Best Taylor Swift Songs

29
13 8
The Surf Coasters is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Surf Coasters Surf rock, Psychedelic rock, Surf music

30
9 5
The Hondells is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Hondells Rock music

31
8 4
The Raybeats is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Raybeats Surf rock, Surf music

32
8 4
Davie Allan and the Arrows is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
RobertJamesMcArthur added Davie Allan and the Arrows

33
6 2
FIDLAR is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

34
12 9
Wavves is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Wavves Pop punk, Noise rock, Garage rock

35
11 8
The Honeys is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Honeys Pop music, Rock and roll, Surf music

16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

36
10 7
The Blue Hawaiians is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Blue Hawaiians Rock music, Surf music

37
9 6
Red Elvises is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Red Elvises Lounge music, Ska, Rock music

38
9 6
The Phantom Surfers is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Phantom Surfers Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music

39
3 0
The Aqua Velvets is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
GregerNordstrom added The Aqua Velvets

40
10 8
Best Coast is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Best Coast Indie pop, Garage rock, Indie rock

41
10 8
Jack Johnson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
gamedemon24 added Jack Johnson Indie pop, Tropical rock, Pop music

42
5 3
Al Casey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

The Best Jennifer Lopez Albums of All Time

43
9 8
The 5.6.7.8's is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The 5.6.7.8's Rock music, Rockabilly, Garage punk

44
8 7
The Barracudas is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
The Barracudas Jangle pop, Pop punk, Garage rock

45
4 4
The Rebels is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

46
1 1
The Moon-Rays is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
ScottMensching added 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 ...

47
1 1
Cafe Del Mar is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
GregerNordstrom added Cafe Del Mar

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
1 2
Royale Monarchs is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Royale Monarchs Rock music

50
4 6
Surf City is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time