60 of the Best Wave Tattoos You’ll Ever See

Surf's up bro.

60 of The Best Wave Tattoo Designs | TattooBlend

Formed by gravity and surface tension, water waves can be terrifying, fun, awe-inspiring, and even therapeutic. Whether you’re running out to sea, surfboard in tow, or just enjoying a romantic walk on the beach while the waves peacefully break in the background, waves are without a doubt one of nature’s most alluring creations.

The first wave tattoos likely originated in pacific islander cultures—most notably the Maori and Samoan tribes. Simple single line designs and reoccurring minimalistic wave patterns were common place way back when and still remain so to this day. Over the years, as body art and technology has evolved, these simple patterns have morphed into more elaborate and intricate works of art. With the resources tattooists have available to them today, if it can be imagined, it can be inked. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of wave tattoos being created today.



This epic back piece.

Wave Tattoo Design by Sasha Masiuk

This relatively large circular back piece consists almost entirely of linework waves. This tattoo could almost be mistaken for something else if it wasn’t for the single protruding tale of a whale. (Photo: Sasha Masiuk)

This geometric addition.

Geometric wave tattoo by Grad

(Photo: Grad)

This rectangular containment.

Rectangular confined wave tattoo by Oozy

(Photo: Oozy)

This circular watercolor wave tattoo.

Circular Watercolor Wave Tattoo by Joanne Baker

(Photo: Joanne Baker)

This colorful barrel.

Epic Wave Tattoo by Tyler Malek

If this doesn’t make you want to quit your job and move to Hawaii then there’s definitely something wrong with you. (Photo: Tyler Malek)

This watercolor wave.

Watercolor Wave by Baris Yesilbas

(Photo: Baris Yesilbas)

This blue and white ink chest medallion.

Wave Tattoo Design by Tayfun Bezgin

While not used as much as you would think in wave tattoos, white ink creates a bold and exciting design that’s hard to ignore. This magnificent color scheme makes this piece one of our favorites for both it’s composition and color. (Photo: Tayfun Bezgin)

This ribcage work.

Watercolor Wave by Basis Yesilbas

(Photo: Basis Yesilbas)

These scaled waves.

Wave Tattoo on Chest by Sasha Masiuk

This wandering chest piece begins on the pectoral muscle before making it’s way up and over the collar bone. The waves are framed with a bit of pattern work while themselves featuring various textures including mild scaling. (Photo: Sasha Masiuk)



This vibrant Hokusai forearm piece.

Hokusai Wave Tattoo Design by Gery

The Hokusai wave is a phrase given to works done in the image of renowned 19th century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock print works. Most of these “Hokusai tattoos,” which there are numerous examples of on this list, were done in the image of Hokusai’s most famous work The Great Wave off Kanagawa(Photo: Gery)

This Hokusai side tat.

Hokusai Wave Tattoo by Cameron Copeland

Another reproduction of the Hokusai wave done in the dotwork style low on the ribcage. (Photo: Cameron Copeland)

These delightful dotwork crests.

Hokusai Wave Tattoo by Dasha Sumkina

The anatomy of a wave consists of a crest and a trough. The distance between crests is known as wavelength. (Photo: Dasha Sumkina)



 These windswept waves.

Wave Tattoo on Thigh by Won

A gorgeous example done in black and grey ink that could just as easily be grassy hills as it is rough seas. Or is it grassy hills? (Photo: Won)

This triangular ankle piece.

Wave Tattoo Design by Ilwol

Another unique interpretation of the Hokusai wave but this time constrained in a diamond-shaped glyph. Triangular, diamond, and circular shaped borders are fairly popular these days. (Photo: Ilwol)