Music

The Best Surf Bands of All Time  

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1.7k votes 395 voters 51.6k 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)
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list ordered by
1
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock
2
The Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Rock music, Surf music
3
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
darin-green added Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock
4
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop
5
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
The Astronauts is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll
7
Jan and Dean is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Sunshine pop, Rock music, Folk rock
8
The Tarantulas is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
TheTarantulas added Rock music
9
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music
10
The Chantays is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
GregerNordstrom added
11
The Mermen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Rock music, Surf music
12
Eddie & the Showmen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Rock music
13
The Telestons is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Lino Herakles Tesco added
14
The Atlantics is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Rock music, Garage rock, Instrumental rock
15
Ronny & The Daytonas is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Rock music, Rock and roll, Surf rock
16
Agent Orange is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
sjw674 added Skate punk, Surf rock, Punk rock
17
The Sandals is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Surf music
18
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock
19
The Livelyones is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
RobGriffith added
20
The Rip-Chords is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
21
Original Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Surf rock, Surf music
22
The Centurions is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
23
The Bambi Molesters is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Instrumental rock, Surf music
24
The Hondells is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Rock music
25
The Growlers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surf Bands of All Time
Garage rock, Psychedelic rock