rock The Best Surf Rock Bands  

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2.3k votes 506 voters 37.6k views 80 items

During the 1960s, there were fewer musical genres more popular in the U.S. than surf rock. The glossy pop soundings encapsulated the carefree nature and glistening Americana that California symbolize. Naturally, surf rock's origins were in Southern California, in particular the Los Angeles and Orange County coasts. Surf rock was generally more popular at the beginning of the 1960s, when bands would sing about surfing, hanging out, hot rod cars and girls. Surf rock bands appealed to the desire for the endless summer.

So, that said, what are the best surf rock band bands? Well, any list needs to be built around the genius of Brian Wilson, Mike Love and the Beach Boys. One of the most popular and greatest rock bands of all time, the Beach Boys helped usher in this new era of rock music. Additionally, other bands like Best Coast, Jan and Dean, Dick Dale, Waaves and DIIV are an eclectic mix of old and new bands that are among the top surf rock bands. 

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best surf rock bands. If you know surf rock and are a fan of the genre, feel free to vote on this list. If you notice a surf rock band isn't on this list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best surf rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest surf rock 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 rock bands that you might've heard of. (80 items)

1
129 52
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

2
91 31
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Ventures Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

3
106 42
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Dick Dale Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock

4
38 8
Skinny Dickies is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
andrewcantsurf added Skinny Dickies Surf punk, blues rock

5
49 18
The Trashmen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Trashmen Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk

6
47 25
Jan and Dean is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Jan and Dean Sunshine pop, Rock music, Folk rock

7
56 33
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

8
41 26
The Cramps is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Cramps Horror punk, New Wave, Punk blues

9
31 21
The Marketts is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Marketts Pop music, Surf rock

10
25 18
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Tornados Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

11
36 30
Man or Astro-man? is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Man or Astro-man? Space rock, Surf rock, Punk rock

12
27 21
Carl Wilson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Carl Wilson Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

13
7 1
The Tarantulas is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Draggin TheLion added The Tarantulas Surf, Punk, Surf Punk

14
20 17
Original Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Original Surfaris Surf rock, Surf music

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15
40 40
Wavves is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Wavves Pop punk, Noise rock, Garage rock

16
21 19
The Bel-Airs is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Bel-Airs Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music

17
27 26
Surf Punks is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Surf Punks Pop punk, Rock music, Surf rock

18
32 32
The Growlers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Growlers Garage rock, Psychedelic rock

19
19 19
Agent Orange is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Agent Orange Skate punk, Surf rock, Punk rock

20
16 16
Santo and Jonny is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
MarySSpiegel added Santo and Jonny

21
35 38
Best Coast is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Best Coast Indie pop, Garage rock, Indie rock

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22
15 16
Laika & The Cosmonauts is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Laika & The Cosmonauts Instrumental rock, Rautalanka, Surf rock

23
20 22
FIDLAR is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands

24
13 14
Ghastly Ones is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Ghastly Ones Garage rock, Surf rock, Surf music

25
13 14
Allah-Las is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
diogo-nóvoa added Allah-Las Rock music, Rock and roll

26
12 13
Ronny & The Daytonas is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Ronny & The Daytonas Rock music, Rock and roll, Surf rock

27
8 9
The Raybeats is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Raybeats Surf rock, Surf music

28
6 7
The Surf Trio is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Surf Trio Surf rock, Surf music

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29
15 18
The Atlantics is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Atlantics Rock music, Garage rock, Instrumental rock

30
14 17
The Phantom Surfers is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Phantom Surfers Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music

31
9 11
Los Surfer Compadres is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Patricio A. O Farrill added Los Surfer Compadres Surf Garage

32
9 11
Southern Culture on the Skids is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Southern Culture on the Skids Psychobilly, Rock music, Rockabilly

33
15 20
Surfer Blood is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Elise Hennigan added Surfer Blood Pop punk, Shoegazing, Alternative rock

34
6 9
The Surf Coasters is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Surf Coasters Surf rock, Psychedelic rock, Surf music

35
13 18
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Plane... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

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36
13 18
The Young Werewolves is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Young Werewolves Horror punk, Psychobilly, Rock music

37
8 12
Men in Grey Suits is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
ChadThomasHamman added Men in Grey Suits Hawaii Surf Rock

38
7 11
The 5.6.7.8's is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The 5.6.7.8's Rock music, Rockabilly, Garage punk

39
8 13
The Kooks is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
joaniebeachmusic added The Kooks Indie pop, Pop music, Rock music

40
6 11
The Barracudas is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Barracudas Jangle pop, Pop punk, Garage rock

41
2 6
The Denvermen is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
GregerNordstrom added The Denvermen

42
2 6
Teen Idols is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Teen Idols Pop punk, Alternative rock, Surf rock

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43
8 14
Monsters from Mars is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Monsters from Mars Garage rock, Surf rock, Surf music

44
8 14
Red Elvises is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Red Elvises Lounge music, Ska, Rock music

45
1 5
The Space Rangers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Ricky Medora added The Space Rangers

46
4 9
The Rumblers is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
GregerNordstrom added The Rumblers

47
3 8
Beaches is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
joaniebeachmusic added Beaches

48
3 8
The Moon-Rays is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
ScottMensching added The Moon-Rays

49
2 7
Men in Grey Suits is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
ChadThomasHamman added Men in Grey Suits

50
5 11
The John Butler Trio is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
joaniebeachmusic added The John Butler Trio Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music