Music

The Best Surf Rock Bands 

Reference
Updated June 14, 2019 3.7k votes 762 voters 48.7k views 82 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. (82 items)
list ordered by
1
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
2
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
3
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
4
Jan and Dean is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
5
The Trashmen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
6
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
7
Original Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
8
The Cramps is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
9
The Growlers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
10
The Bel-Airs is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
11
Man or Astro-man? is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
12
Skinny Dickies is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
andrewcantsurf added
13
The Marketts is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
14
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
15
Wavves is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
16
Agent Orange is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
17
Link Wray & His Raym... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
18
Carl Wilson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
19
Best Coast is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
20
Surf Punks is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
21
Laika & The Cosmonau... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
22
Santo and Jonny is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
MarySSpiegel added
23
FIDLAR is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
24
The Tarantulas is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Draggin TheLion added
25
Ghastly Ones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands