Surf music bands: writing cool tunes for a cool lifestyle

Surfing and music have always walked together. At the birth of modern surfing, music was there, playing a very important role in creating the perfect environment for the so-called surf culture.

In the early 1960s, Californian surfers discovered surf music. Actually, they invented it.

The Beach Boys arrived, inspiring the first modern surfing generation with their light harmonies, cool tunes, and pumping riffs.

The Beach Boys were a big influence on raising interest in surfing and the perfect soundtrack for endless surf trips through sunny California.

Led by non-surfer Brian Wilson (Dennis Wilson was the only one in the band who surfed), the band's popularity crossed oceans. Their songs were adopted by Australian and European surfers as anthems.

The Sound of the Surf

The Fender guitars, electric pianos, and the saxophone are true instruments of the surf music vibe.

The Bel-Airs, The Challengers, The Shadows, The Atlantics, Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, and The Surfaris topped the charts, but it was "Pet Sounds," the eleventh Beach Boys studio album, which came to be considered as the iconic collection of surf songs.

After the pioneers came the followers. Donavon Frankenreiter, Jack Johnson, The Phantom Surfers, and Reef (plus many more) have rephrased the original surf classics with fresh, cool new sounds.

Many world surfers see Weezer, the band fronted by Rivers Cuomo, as the perfect example of the new alternative surf music.

Weezer started in the 1990s and have always delivered perfect tunes to get you fired up for a session. Search for "Surf Wax America" and "Island in the Sun" and get stoked.

If you would like to know more about surf music, don't miss "Sound of the Surf," a documentary film that gathers the surf songs that influenced the rock genre, starting with the early sounds heard in California in the 1950s and 1960s.

Surf music is in the DNA of the history of surf culture. Take a look at our list of surf bands and artists and listen to your highlights.

List of Surf Bands and Surf Singers/Songwriters

Al Casey
Aqua Velvets
Bob Vaught and The Renegaids
Corky Carroll
Dave Myers & The Surftones
Dick Dale and His Del-Tones
Digger Revell's Denvermen
Donavon Frankenreiter
Eddie and The Showmen
Gary Usher
Jack Johnson
Jan and Dean
Jim Messina and The Jesters
Jim Waller and The Deltas
Johnny Devlin and The Devils
Johnny Fortune
Jon and The Nightriders
Longboard Ranch

Surf Punks
The Astronauts
The Atlantics
The Avengers VI
The Beach Boys
The Bel-Airs
The Blue Hawaiians
The Challengers
The Chantays
The Crossfires
The Delltones
The Gamblers
The Halibuts
The Honeys
The Impacts
The Invaders
The Joy Boys
The Lively Ones
The Marketts
The Mermen

The Mighty Surf Lords
The Moon-Rays
The New Dimensions
The Original Surfaris
The Packards
The Phantom Surfers
The Pyramids
The Rythm Rockers
The Sandals
The Sentinals
The Shadows
The Sunrays
The Superstocks
The Surf Raiders
The Surfaris
The Surfers
The Temptations
The Tornadoes
The Trashmen
The Ventures
The Vibrants
Tom Curren

Discover the best surf songs of all time.

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