“Surfin’ USA” Is No. 1?

Yahoo readers send the Beach Boys' 1963 single to the top of the summer songs chart

| posted on August 15, 2013
The Beach Boys, who in one fell swoop named every surf spot in California. Photo: Getty Images

The Beach Boys, who over the course of one song named every surf spot in California. Photo: Getty Images

For the past month, Yahoo! ran a “Greatest Summer Song of All Time” voting battle, and the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA” somehow came out on top. Everybody’s favorite non-surfing surf rock band narrowly edged-out the legions of parrotheads who voted for Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville.” This is of course, a complete travesty. Everyone knows that Dr. Dre’s “Let Me Ride” is the best summer song ever, followed closely by Fogerty’s “Centerfield.”

Anyway, Yahoo! says that “tens of thousands” of people voted for the song that “sounds the best when barbecuing on the deck, sunbathing by the pool or surfing in the deep blue sea.” These people also voted for a song that pointed out all kinds of surf spots in California and Hawaii, blowing up secrets everywhere. Not cool, Beach Boys. Trestles, County Line, Pacific Palisades, Haggerty’s. Spot after spot called out by name. May as well have included directions, Mr. Wilson.

I suppose surfers could be proud of this little surf culture victory. That when people all over the world daydream of warm, carefree summers, they picture surfing, or at least, what pop culture thought of surfing in the 1960s. They think of bushy bushy blonde hairdos. Huarache sandals. Waxing up surfboards, going on a surfari.

When I think of summer, I think of throngs of people on softtops, boards facing the wrong way on roof racks, no parking, and no swell. And listening to “Let Me Ride,” of course. The real “Greatest Summer Song of All Time.”

Yahoo’s summer song competition breakdown is here.

  • Jesse Warren

    Not altogether a bad choice. A better choice would be ‘Surfing Safari’ or ‘Schools Out’ by Alice Cooper

  • Gandhi Warhol

    As it says on THE BEACH BOYS NEVER EVEN SURFED. This is worse than rock stars who lip sync. This is worse than fake tits. This is almost as bad as the Pacific Garbage Patch.

  • Bryấn Siegfried Đơring

    who says you have to visit zanzibar to write a song about it. a song is a song. chill pills for gandhi

  • disqus_1MiaIPICbl

    all depends on when you grew up…longboards (velzy) Jan & Dean etc….it is what was cool.

  • godboldleslie

    The Beach Boy’s have always sucked, they sucked when my singlefin was facedown/finforward on my rusty racks and they still suck. Who the hell is Dr. Dre?

  • grouchy surfer

    grouchy much?

  • deadlegend

    Dennis surfed …ignorance is bliss…especially in surfing

  • Gerrie Warner

    The Beach Boys crashed the surf culture pary and had really nothing to do with surfing at all. Brian Wilson is a amazing song writer and musician. “I may not always love you” and several other tunes not to leave out the album Pet Sounds were inspirational creations held with emense respect by The Beatles, Rolling Stones and myself. Surfers they were not though.. 🙂

  • Gerrie Warner

    Hahahah!! That must be the suckiest video like EVER!! I’m dyin’ 🙂

  • tony (ty) carson big isalnd

    Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys did surf. And while their music was different than Dick Dale, The challengers, ect., (whose music was more instrumental), the Beach Boys did capture a lot of the vibes and spirit of the times and even of today. Some things don’t change, dudes and dudetts, are still waxing down their surfboards and going on safaris (surf trips ), and if you catch a wave, your still sitting on top of the world.

  • Gary Barker

    I agree cause alot of my surfing was at County Line or within 5 miles! Yeah, Neptunes Net & Point Zero’s!

  • Valentine Bonnaire

    My mom told me dad knew the early, early Beach Boys. In this era. The Beach Boys will always be #1 to California beach people. Since always. <3 I am collecting tales for a memoir, if any of you remember my dad's work. Found him in TCM too. For Surfari. My little bro is a surfer.