The Ventures were not a surf band. Well-established before surf music's brief heyday in the mid-'60s, they have nonetheless been easily lumped in with the likes Dick Dale and the Challengers due mostly to the Ventures' theme for Hawaii Five-0 and a penchant for Hawaiian shirts late in their career. However, their Surfing album is not hindered by a lack of authentication. Perhaps because they were older, or were more professional musicians, Surfing sounds less like an actual surfer's attempt at re-creating the feeling on their boards and more like a cloudy, early-morning walk on the beach, evoked by languid, almost atmospheric numbers like "Changing Tides" and "The Lonely Sea." Lead guitarist Nokie Edwards wrote perhaps the best-known song from the album, "Surf Rider," made famous by its inclusion in the movie Pulp Fiction. Other Ventures originals showcase the band's capabilities with the lightning-quick guitar work and pounding drums that went on to define the genre. The album also contains a helpful glossary for the landlocked.
AllMusic Review by Kurt Edwards