A wave of moving water made permanent by inking it in to your skin. Amazing to look at, so calming to hear them roll in. Waves can symbolize strength, a moving spirit but also life itself.
The ocean is never still, and neither are you. The movement, strength, life and all the meaning hidden under the surface that can be represented in a single wavy line of ink is overwhelming. Water is the symbol of life itself, and it’s no wonder that humans have decided to mark their skin with symbols of moving water since the early days.
Wave tattoos are deeply-rooted in the native cultures of the pacific islands. From Hawaii to the islands of New Zealand, tribal patterns depict different forms of waves and movement of the sea.
Noways, wave designs vary, from simple, outlined, small symbols, to fully realistic and colorful imagery, wave tattoos are a pretty common sight. They hold different meaning to different people, but their simple aesthetic makes waves one of the most popular tattoo subjects.
Wave Tattoo Designs and Placements – 60+ Images
If you’ve been combing the Interwebs hoping to find the right wave tattoo design to get inspired by, you got yourself quite a task. We know, because that’s exactly what we did!
From simple, outlined and delicate waves gently placed on a girl’s wrist or the ankle, to more ‘masculine’ designs of heavy, crushing waves, to colorful, geometric, minimalist… any style, any placement and more, waves offer endless inspiration to tattoo artists and we have sorted the out below.
Wave Tattoos on the Wrist
The wrist is a great placement for a delicate and minimal wave tattoo, but as you can see below, you can be brave and go bigger and more colorful.
Wave Tattoos on the Ankle
Also a common placement for wave tattoos, the ankle. Again, different styles, more or less realistic, simple or shaded, anything goes.
Geometric Wave Tattoos
The combination of free flowing waves and strict, angular geometric form, surprisingly or not, works perfectly.
Wave Tattoos on Shoulder
There’s something about delicate tattoos placed on the shoulder that just works. Same goes for wave tattoos.
Forearm Wave Tattoos
Another placement on you body that works great with wave tats is the forearm. Inner forearm or the back of your arm work just as well with this subject in different designs.
Matching Wave Tattoos
If you’re a couple, friends or siblings, you might be looking to get some waves on you. Here’s some inspiration:
Waves with a message
A wave can do more than just have hidden meaning, you can just say what you wanted with waves.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa
Japanese woodblock print artist Hokusai created The Great Wave off Kanagawa print about 200 years ago. Still, this image has many admirers and is often featured on tattoos, sometimes slightly altered.
Colorful Wave Tattoo Designs
Wave tattoos are not always just black ink and fine lines, we found a bunch of amazing color tattoos, all on the subject but some pushing the definition a bit – something we always enjoy!
All Wave Tattoo Designs
To finish on a high note, here’s the complete gallery of wave tattoo images we found. Enjoy!