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Surf music is a genre of popular music associated with surf culture, particularly Orange County and other areas of Southern California.

It has two basic subgenres:

* Surf pop music, including both surf ballads and dance music that includes a vocal line. Sometimes called "beach music" as it was popular amongst non-surfers as well. (Surf pop should not be confused with the "shag tempo" beach music of the Carolinas, however).=

* Surf rock, generally instrumental in nature with an electric guitar or saxophone playing the main melody

Many notable surf bands have been equally noted for both surf instrumental and surf pop music, so surf music is generally considered as a single genre despite the variety of these styles.

Recordings are normally attributed to the bands that performed them, rather than to individual artists.

Additionally, surfers have internalized a form of reggae music and created their own Rasta identity. Both in Puerto Rico and the United States, youth surfers in the late 80's and early 90's found their own niche in the reggae world. Interestingly enough, the surfers in both countries were not urban youth, such as the genre had previously been identified, but were upper middle class, light skinned "blanquitos" or "whities". This shows the diversity of the surfing subculture and its ability to adopt aspects of completely different cultures. Also, this permits a cross-cultural connection to be formed between the origins of the music base (Jamaica in the case of reggae) and the locations where it is being listened to by the surfers (the United States and Puerto Rico). .

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