Rock The Best Surf Rock Bands  

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2.7k votes 581 voters 41.2k views 83 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. (83 items)
list ordered by

1
157 61
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

2
126 46
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock

3
105 35
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

4
55 24
The Trashmen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk

5
42 15
Skinny Dickies is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
andrewcantsurf added Surf punk, blues rock

6
55 29
Jan and Dean is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Sunshine pop, Rock music, Folk rock

7
62 37
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

8
46 33
The Cramps is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Horror punk, New Wave, Punk blues

9
31 20
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

10
35 24
The Marketts is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop music, Surf rock

11
40 32
Man or Astro-man? is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Space rock, Surf rock, Punk rock

12
25 18
Original Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Surf rock, Surf music

13
40 35
The Growlers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Garage rock, Psychedelic rock

14
25 20
The Bel-Airs is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music

15
28 24
Carl Wilson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

16
47 46
Wavves is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop punk, Noise rock, Garage rock

17
24 21
Agent Orange is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Skate punk, Surf rock, Punk rock

18
7 4
The Tarantulas is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Draggin TheLion added Surf, Punk, Surf Punk

19
20 19
The Atlantics is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Garage rock, Instrumental rock

20
18 17
Allah-Las is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
diogo-nóvoa added Rock music, Rock and roll

21
3 0
Link Wray & His Raymen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Dylan Evans added

22
29 30
Surf Punks is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop punk, Rock music, Surf rock

23
37 40
Best Coast is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Indie pop, Garage rock, Indie rock

24
24 25
FIDLAR is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands

25
16 16
Ghastly Ones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Garage rock, Surf rock, Surf music

26
17 18
Santo and Jonny is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
MarySSpiegel added

27
17 18
Laika & The Cosmonauts is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Instrumental rock, Rautalanka, Surf rock

28
14 15
Ronny & The Daytonas is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Rock and roll, Surf rock

29
2 1
Beach Fossils is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Dylan Evans added Indie pop, Shoegazing, Garage rock

30
10 11
The Raybeats is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Surf rock, Surf music

31
1 1
Mohana is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
JoyceBeutler added Surf Rock

32
0 0
The Invisible Surfers is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
jamess1400 added

33
8 10
The Surf Coasters is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Surf rock, Psychedelic rock, Surf music

34
7 9
The Surf Trio is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Surf rock, Surf music

35
15 19
The Phantom Surfers is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music

36
10 13
Southern Culture on the Skids is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Psychobilly, Rock music, Rockabilly

37
9 13
The 5.6.7.8's is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Rockabilly, Garage punk

38
9 13
Los Surfer Compadres is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Patricio A. O Farrill added

Surf Garage

39
14 20
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Plane... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

40
10 15
The Kooks is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
joaniebeachmusic added Indie pop, Pop music, Rock music

41
15 22
Surfer Blood is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Elise Hennigan added Pop punk, Shoegazing, Alternative rock

42
7 12
The Barracudas is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Jangle pop, Pop punk, Garage rock

43
13 20
The Young Werewolves is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Horror punk, Psychobilly, Rock music

44
5 10
The Rumblers is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
GregerNordstrom added

45
8 14
Men in Grey Suits is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
ChadThomasHamman added Hawaii Surf Rock

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

47
6 12
The Beautiful Girls is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
joaniebeachmusic added Pop music, Traditional music, Folk music

48
9 16
Red Elvises is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Lounge music, Ska, Rock music

49
2 7
The Denvermen is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
GregerNordstrom added

50
8 16
Monsters from Mars is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Garage rock, Surf rock, Surf music