Top 60 Wave Tattoo Design Ideas – [2022 Inspiration Guide]
It’s easy to surf across the perfect wave, yet even easier to get lost in it staring far from the beach shore. The constant motion of the ocean, though, breaking off at the shore, still manages to appear calm and quite tranquil.
However, when the storms brew, the once peaceful waves turn into terror.
The idea is beautifully captured in the famous The Grave Wave woodblock print by the renowned Japanese artist Hokusai.
In this drawing, Hokusai featured vivid details of the deep blue in the wave’s curve. Yet, his inspiration truly stemmed from the fact that his own country was completely surrounded by ocean water.
For others, they’re appreciated for being symbols of life’s constant motion, an unstoppable force of nature that continues on and on over the course of time.
In another light, waves can represent how even with all the strength in the world, water can still manage to work its way free. Just like life itself, many things refused to be grasped and remain elusive to us.
Read on for this collection of the top 60 best wave tattoo designs. You’ll discover an ocean of awesome ideas featuring unique and creative ink styles.
1. Wave and Surfers Tattoo Ideas
2. Upper Arm Wave Tattoos
3. Wave Tattoo Sleeve Designs
4. Black and Gray Wave Tattoos
5. Innovative Wave Tattoos
6. Chest, Side, and Rib Wave Tattoos
7. Leg Wave Tattoos
8. Hand and Foot Wave Tattoos
9. Japanese Wave Tattoos
Wave Tattoo FAQs
What do wave tattoos symbolize?
Often times wave ink is representative of the ocean, a love of the sea and surf, conservation, or a sense of belonging to coastal villages, towns, and cities.
Waves are linked to the idea of motion and the inexorability of tides and time. They never cease travelling, even in motion when seeming completely still.
Waves are also a popular symbol for depicting emotions, as they can be shown as calm, cool, fun, in turmoil, or in complete rage.
Why are waves popular in Japanese tattoos?
Waves are often incorporated into larger tattoos as shadow or fill images, particularly in the traditional Japanese irezumi style of design where a focus main image needs contrasting back up.
Some other wave tattoos are based on Hokusai’s great wave print to make tattoo interpretations of various emotions, or to utlize some cool ink applications such as deft line work, stippling or negative space effects.