Music

The Best Surf Bands of All Time 

Reference
Updated January 15, 2019 1.8k votes 406 voters 52k views 63 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. (63 items)
list ordered by
1
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
2
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
3
The Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
4
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
5
Jan and Dean is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
6
The Bel-Airs is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
7
The Astronauts is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
8
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
9
The Mermen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
10
The Chantays is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
GregerNordstrom added
11
Eddie & the Showmen ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
12
The Atlantics is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
13
The Sandals is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
14
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
15
The Telestons is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Lino Herakles Tesco added
16
The Bambi Molesters is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
17
Ronny & The Daytonas... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
18
Agent Orange is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
19
The Rip-Chords is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
20
The Livelyones is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
RobGriffith added
21
Original Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
22
The Centurions is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
23
Surf Punks is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
24
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
25
The Growlers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time