Rock The Best Surf Rock Bands  

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2.6k votes 568 voters 40.7k 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)

1
150 60
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
103 34
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Ventures Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

3
122 46
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Dick Dale Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock

4
54 24
The Trashmen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Trashmen Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk

5
41 15
Skinny Dickies is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
andrewcantsurf added Skinny Dickies Surf punk, blues rock

6
55 29
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
60 37
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

8
45 32
The Cramps is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Cramps Horror punk, New Wave, Punk blues

9
34 24
The Marketts is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Marketts Pop music, Surf rock

10
30 20
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Tornados Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock

11
39 32
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
24 18
Original Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Original Surfaris Surf rock, Surf music

13
28 24
Carl Wilson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Carl Wilson Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music

14
38 35
The Growlers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Growlers Garage rock, Psychedelic rock

15
24 20
The Bel-Airs is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Bel-Airs Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music

16
45 46
Wavves is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Wavves Pop punk, Noise rock, Garage rock

17
22 21
Agent Orange is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Agent Orange 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 The Tarantulas Surf, Punk, Surf Punk

19
17 16
Allah-Las is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
diogo-nóvoa added Allah-Las Rock music, Rock and roll

20
29 30
Surf Punks is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Surf Punks Pop punk, Rock music, Surf rock

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

22
19 19
The Atlantics is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Atlantics Rock music, Garage rock, Instrumental rock

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

24
23 25
FIDLAR is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands

25
17 18
Santo and Jonny is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
MarySSpiegel added Santo and Jonny

26
15 16
Ghastly Ones is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Ghastly Ones Garage rock, Surf rock, Surf music

27
14 15
Ronny & The Daytonas is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Ronny & The Daytonas Rock music, Rock and roll, Surf rock

28
16 18
Laika & The Cosmonauts is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Laika & The Cosmonauts Instrumental rock, Rautalanka, Surf rock

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

30
1 1
Mohana is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
JoyceBeutler added Mohana Surf Rock

31
9 11
The Raybeats is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Raybeats Surf rock, Surf music

32
7 9
The Surf Trio is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Surf Trio Surf rock, Surf music

33
15 19
The Phantom Surfers is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Phantom Surfers Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music

34
7 10
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
9 13
Southern Culture on the Skids is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Southern Culture on the Skids Psychobilly, Rock music, Rockabilly

36
9 13
Los Surfer Compadres is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Patricio A. O Farrill added Los Surfer Compadres Surf Garage

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

38
14 20
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Plane... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock

39
15 22
Surfer Blood is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Elise Hennigan added Surfer Blood Pop punk, Shoegazing, Alternative rock

40
7 12
The Barracudas is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Barracudas Jangle pop, Pop punk, Garage rock

41
13 20
The Young Werewolves is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
The Young Werewolves Horror punk, Psychobilly, Rock music

42
9 15
The Kooks is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
joaniebeachmusic added The Kooks Indie pop, Pop music, Rock music

43
5 10
The Rumblers is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
GregerNordstrom added The Rumblers

44
8 14
Men in Grey Suits is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
ChadThomasHamman added Men in Grey Suits Hawaii Surf Rock

45
4 9
Beaches is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
joaniebeachmusic added Beaches

46
6 12
The Beautiful Girls is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
joaniebeachmusic added The Beautiful Girls Pop music, Traditional music, Folk music

47
9 16
Red Elvises is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Red Elvises Lounge music, Ska, Rock music

48
2 7
The Denvermen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
GregerNordstrom added The Denvermen

49
8 16
Monsters from Mars is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Monsters from Mars Garage rock, Surf rock, Surf music

50
2 8
Men in Grey Suits is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
ChadThomasHamman added Men in Grey Suits