Surf music: cool tunes for a summer of waves

Whether you're crossing sunny California in a Cadillac Cabriolet or tracking the waves in the South of France in a Volkswagen Westfalia, surf music is always part of the ultimate surf trip. 

The summer tunes remind you of your greatest moments chasing waves and inspire you to dream about what is yet to come.

Surf music was born in the 1960s. Fifty years have passed, but the greatest surf songs are still cool, smooth, and enthusiastic.

Add them to your mp3 playlist and listen to them while driving with your friends and family by the seaside.

The Bel Airs are considered one of the most important surf music icons, and "Mr. Moto" is the perfect tune for a summer surfing day.

The catchy riffs will stick in the heads of even the youngest groms.

"Wipe Out," by The Surfaris, is another excellent listening experience, perfect for those seeking constant adrenaline.

The rhythm is driving, fun, and will have you in the water in no time.

"Pipeline" was a massive hit in the early 1960s. The Chantays had the feel and looks the surfing community loved and captured the essence of the famous wave in a great song.

The Trashmen merged two different songs by The Rivingtons to create the crazy "Surfin' Bird."

The tune reached number four on the Billboard chart in 1963 and lived a second life in 2010, reaching number three in the UK that year.

The California Sound

Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys were the ambassadors of surfing in the 1960s, and their music will last forever in the hearts of surfers.

"Surf's Up" and "Surfin' Safari" are only two outstanding songs on their long list of surf anthems.

Dick Dale & His Del-Tones brought us a version of an oriental melody with "Miserlou," a solo instrumental guitar piece that quickly became a must-have surf tune.

More recently, in the 1990s, the song was featured in the movie "Pulp Fiction."

"California Dreamin'" was a huge surf hit in 1965. The Mamas & The Papas created a story of a man in a cold winter dreaming about the warm temperature of California.

The song's overall spirit inspires surfers, even more so when The Beach Boys re-recorded it.

In recent years, two songs have truly recreated the surf feeling of summertime. "Surf Wax America," by the surf rockers Weezer, and "Let's Go Surfing" by The Drums send us all to the best place on Earth: the wave peak.

Listen to all the tunes or get the records and MP3s.

Surf Songs | The Ultimate Surf Music Playlist

  • "Guitar Noir" - Aqua Velvets
  • "Church Key" - Dave Myers and The Surftones
  • "Let's Go Trippin'" - Dick Dale and His Del-Tones
  • "You And Your Heart" - Jack Johnson
  • "Surf City" - Jan and Dean
  • "Rumble At Waikiki" - Jon and The Nightriders
  • "My Beach" - Surf Punks
  • "Bombora" - The Atlantics
  • "Surfin' USA" - The Beach Boys
  • "Mr. Moto" - The Bel Airs
  • "Pipeline" - The Chantays
  • "Hanging Five" - The Delltones
  • "Shoot The Curl" - The Honeys
  • "Surf Rider" - The Lively Ones
  • "Out Of Limits" - The Marketts
  • "Gypsy Surfer" - The Phantom Surfers
  • "Apache" - The Shadows
  • "The Curl Rider" - The Surf Raiders
  • "Wipe Out" - The Surfaris
  • "Surfin' Bird" - The Trashmen
  • "Walk Don't Run" - The Ventures
  • "Summerland Road" - Tom Curren
  • "Surf Wax America" - Weezer
  • "Let's Go Surfing" - The Drums

Discover the best surf music bands of all time.

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