To truly embrace the surfing lifestyle, you have to do more than just buy a board, paddle out, and hope to catch a wave. The diehard surfers will tell you that surfing is a way of life. As such, it influences every part of your life, not just those hours when you’re on your board, waiting for a wave. This “surf culture” really took off in the 60s as the sport start to gain popularity. As it turned out, one of the areas that was really influenced by the surf culture was music. Soon, “surf music” was taking over the airwaves in California, and eventually, it migrated all around the world. Here’s a look at some of the best surf bands of all time.
The Beach Boys
The band that started it all, The Beach Boys hit the scene in the early 60s and introduced the world to surf music. Their tunes were full of catchy riffs, cool lyrics, and easy harmonies. Frontman Brian Wilson still has one of the most recognizable voices in music today, and The Beach Boys make for a perfect road trip soundtrack, especially if you’re heading to a surfing destination!
The Bel-Airs were another pioneer group of surf rockers in the early 60s. They’re best known for their instrumental song “Mr. Moto,” but they’ve covered just about every instrumental surf rock song you can think of.
The Beach Boys might have represented the California surf scene, but let’s not forget that Australia has a pretty amazing surf culture, too. The Atlantics hale from the land down under and represent the surf rock scene in the early 60s. They have a long list of songs, including “Bombora,” “Reef Break,” “Flight of the Surf Guitar,” and “Come On.”
Dick Dale and the Del Tones
Dick Dale was known as “The King of the Surf Guitar” and he and the Del Tones have a place in surf rock history. Dick Dale and The Del Tones have a ton of his songs, including “Shake ‘n’ Stomp,” “Let’s Go Trippin’,” and “Misirlou,” which appeared on the popular Pulp Fiction soundtrack.
Surf music is alive and well thanks to the foundations laid by the surf bands of the 60s. Today, Jack Johnson is one of the leaders in laid-back surf tunes. His songs are usually acoustic and best enjoyed with your toes in the sand and a rum drink in your hand. His hits include “Upside Down,” “Better Together,” and “Banana Pancakes.”