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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Best-Of SG101 »

Permalink Why you like surf music

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I'm pretty new here and to surf music, but not to guitar. I find it interesting (without any negative judgement implied) that only one or two previous replies touch on the thing I love most about surf rock: the atmosphere. Good music of any kind puts you in a place and you're there. I grew up around the ocean (Atlantic and Gulf, not really surf spots) and my soul is at peace on the beach. Surf music is the soundtrack to that peace, sometimes mellow, sometimes frenetic, always harmonious and timeless. The tones mimic the splash of the water, the drums mimic the roar of the surf, the tunes recall the fun of summer. I've never been surfing but the music has all of the adrenaline adventure of being rocketed forward on the water while maneuvering on your board.

Ghost Coast

One of our local icons of surfing, Corky Carroll, rides with a waterproof ipod and headphones. He says it provides him with a soundtrack for what he's doing. I see a lot of Standup Paddleboarders with that set up. Probably not surf music, but who knows. I can't do it, I need to hear what's going on around me when I'm out there.

Happy Sunsets!

Last edited: Feb 04, 2015 17:52:37

Me too, TJ,

I think stand up paddle boarders must be listening to Lawrence Welk.

Sorry, I'm a long time whitewater open boater. "Half the paddle, twice the boater."

Like the song sez........"Paddle or Die."

Happy horizon lines..........


Traditional........speak softly and play through a big blonde amp. Did I mention that I still like big blonde amps?

CapeFran ,welcome to the forum
Maybe you couldnt find that atmosphere mentioned elsewhere but that's what we all love about instro surf and thats why we are obsessed with the gear and the techniques which make the sounds .

Well said CF,

Pipeline may just be the best record ever made.

We actually like each other a lot around here. Big happy (though sometimes a bit dysfunctional) family.

Ssssssssh, the East Coast has the oldest continuously running surfing championship in the US. The East Coast Surfing Championship. We were lucky enough to perform there four or five years. I'm still trying to figure out just how we, (The X-Rays and The Surge!) got the drop on all the other surf bands east of the Mississippi River for all those years running.

Tis a puzzlement.

Eddie K

Traditional........speak softly and play through a big blonde amp. Did I mention that I still like big blonde amps?

Why do I like Surf music?

I find great beauty in it...the overall ideas of what it represents makes me happy. There's no message, no lecturing, no political motivation - just tone, sound, rhythm, and melodies. Open to all listeners or players, never judging anyone - just join the fun and jam.

I like classical pieces too i play violin,
with no vocals the instrument is the vocal's
surf music is timeless like classical
i bet people will still like it hundreds of years from now.
it's from the inner spirit, i like it better uncluttered
and clear myself..

Cause it sounds RIGHT.......

West wrote:

Cause it sounds RIGHT.......

Yep! Sure does. Welcome to sg101! Very glad you're here.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

My earliest memory of surf music was in the mid-70s. When I was 10 years old, my older sister got a copy of Endless Summer. I do remember I really liked it back then; every bit as much as I do now. A couple of years later she got a surf compilation. That was the first time I heard Surfer Joe and The Ventures' version of Pipeline.
Over the last 30+ years, I've been listening to a lot of rock, blues and jazz. As I've gotten into my 50s, I've been listening to a lot of music from the 1960s. It dawned on me that not only should music be good, it should be fun! And what epitomizes fun and good musicianship more than surf? One day last summer, I was just in the mood for surf music and I was hooked! And I'm looking forward to playing it once I get my guitar playable again.

When I first listened to surf music from the film ''Pulp Fiction'' in 1995 I thought that finally I found home!I was 16 years old and i was listening to metal,classic rock,greek rock and punk rock.After that I started listening to SURF,rockabilly,psychobilly and garage punk,until now..
Why I like surf music?
Because it sounds right in my ears and in my mind!
Because of the atmosphere..
Because as I am listening to surf and I close my eyes,I can travel in any "California beach" I want..
Because it makes me feel free...
And because it is the best kind of music!!!

Last edited: Jul 10, 2016 07:51:06

There's no agenda or any controversy surrounding it. I love it because it's upbeat and even spiritually uplifting for me personally at times. Like ska, you can't be depressed while listening to it! Keep it alive guys and gals!

Either you surf, or you fight.

I like listening and playing surf music because almost no one else does (strange, we have 10,500 beaches in Australia and only a few of surf bands, so am adding to those few, yeah)

'Surf Music Lasts Forever'

Looking back at this thread, I see my opinion hasn't changed! Cool

shivers13 wrote:

Why you ask?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...


BOSS FINK "R.P.M." available now from DOUBLE CROWN RECORDS!

I think Surf Music is generally in the category of Christmas music. Christmas owns December and Surf Music owns the Beach for the rest of the year. It will always be around in some form or another.

I like the energy playing it and the drumming. Wipe Out Cool

I’m going to forget that you said that. Repent!

Daniel Deathtide

Some of my favorite Xmas music is also surf, Wink


Last edited: Jan 16, 2019 18:12:28

Several reasons. In no order:

  1. I have a thing for the aesthetics of that era. Love the imagery, vibe, way things looked, etc. Although it’s a false nostalgia since I wasn’t born until 74.

  2. More and more I want to listen to, and play, instrumental music. Particularly instrumental guitar music. Of the variants of guitar instrumental music, the surf thing grabs my attention the most. Partially due to number 1. Also, there is more attention to the song than virtuosity.

  3. It ages well, IMO. It’s a classic sound that I won’t look weird playing in 20 years when I’m a retired senior citizen. Unlike a lot of other genres.

  4. It’s not something you hear every day. Rock, rap, punk, country... I either have zero interest in the genres, or I’m over exposed to them. Not so with surf music.

Those are just some of the reasons that come to mind.


It was time for a change from old blues and metal. In my circles Instrumental music was frowned on and as an old Rockabilly fan, surf music was considered bad as it eclipsed 50s music much like Grunge killed metal.

BUT, I discovered I dug the fast instrumental surf music. It had a beat, a kool groove and was a whole new format to explore.
I’m still digging it but have melded it into my tastes across the board. It introducrd me to a new way to play and some great gear ( love the Jaguar). Smile

I am not obsolete, I am RETRO.... Cool

The classic clean surf tone. Can’t be beat, except sometimes it’s matched by the spaghetti western tone...

Daniel Deathtide

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