Bands/Musicians The Best Surf Bands of All Time  

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1.7k votes 375 voters 51k views 65 items
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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. (65 items)
list ordered by

1
94 35
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock

2
98 40
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

3
61 17
The Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Rock music, Surf music

4
38 8
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
darin-green added Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

5
38 13
The Bel-Airs is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music

6
46 23
Jan and Dean is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Sunshine pop, Rock music, Folk rock

7
32 13
The Astronauts is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

8
38 22
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

9
30 17
The Mermen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Rock music, Surf music

10
18 7
The Telestons is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Lino Herakles Tesco added

11
21 11
The Atlantics is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Rock music, Garage rock, Instrumental rock

12
16 7
Eddie & the Showmen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Rock music

13
18 9
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

14
18 9
The Sandals is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Surf music

15
18 9
Agent Orange is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
sjw674 added Skate punk, Surf rock, Punk rock

16
17 9
Ronny & The Daytonas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Rock music, Rock and roll, Surf rock

17
11 4
The Chantays is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
GregerNordstrom added

18
13 6
The Livelyones is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
RobGriffith added

19
15 8
The Livelyones is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
RobGriffith added

Lead guitar: Jim MasonerRhythm guitar: Ed ChiaveriniBass guitar: Ron GriffithSaxophone: Joel WillenbringDrums: Tim Fitzpatrick

The greatest surf band off alltime.

20
15 9
The Rip-Chords is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

21
16 10
The Centurions is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time

22
23 17
The Bambi Molesters is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Instrumental rock, Surf music

23
18 13
The Growlers is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Garage rock, Psychedelic rock

24
15 10
Original Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Surf rock, Surf music

25
21 17
Surf Punks is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Pop punk, Rock music, Surf rock