10 Best Surfing Songs

Surfing has been a part of West Coast culture for years; many of the 10 Best Surfing Songs come from Southern California, one of surfing's spiritual homes. From the Beach Boys' joyous harmonies about hitting the waves to the classic instrumentals of Dick Dale and the Ventures, the 10 Best Surfing Songs evoke the adventure of hitting the waves, carving turns, and sometimes even wiping out.

  1. "Pipeline" by the Chantays – This instrumental may be an obvious choice to top the list of 10 Best Surfing Songs, but that is because it epitomizes what surf music was, for a time—an insistent beat and hard charging, reverberating guitars playing a riff that sticks in the head for days. The song is such a classic that it has been covered by artists as far-reaching as punk rocker Johnny Thunders (whose version was featured in an episode of "The Sopranos") and the Incredible Bongo Band.
  2. "Surfin' U.S.A." by the Beach Boys – To create this tune, Beach Boys genius Brian Wilson set new lyrics to the melody of Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" and a surfing classic was born.
  3. "Miserlou" by Dick Dale and His Del-Tones – Initially a traditional Greek zeibekiko dance, Dick Dale upped the tempo for his surf instrumental version of this song, which became an international hit and cemented its place on the list of 10 Best Surfing Songs when its popularity was renewed by its appearance in "Pulp Fiction."
  4. "Surf City" by Jan & Dean – Jan & Dean's number one hit was written by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.
  5. "Walk, Don't Run" by the Ventures – Believed to be one of the first surfing songs to hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart, this indelible classic is an essential for the list of 10 Best Surfing Songs.
  6. "Wipe Out" by the Surfaris – This classic is most often remembered for its drum solo, which captures the energy of surfing in all its manic glory.
  7. "Surfin' Bird" by the Trashmen – Once this ear worm gets in your head, it never leaves, making it a memorable choice for the list of 10 Best Surfing Songs.
  8. "California Sun" by the Rivieras – Though it sounds like the Beach Boys, it was actually the Rivieras who brought this Cali ode to the masses.
  9. "Surfin' Safari" by the Beach Boys – another one of the Beach Boys' surfing classics.
  10. "Bustin' Surfboards" by the Tornadoes – This tune is one of the more relaxing, laid back surf classics, making it a perfect capper to this list of 10 Best Surfing Songs.

These songs vary widely in sound, but they all have something in common—they are inspired by surfing, and they evoke images of sandy beaches and big waves. Listen and enjoy.

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