Tattoo Designs

40 Serene Wave Tattoos

Wave tattoos are a great representation of life, as we all need water. Simple waves, ocean wave, even Japanese wave tattoos can be peaceful and assuring.

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Whether you love the ocean or an amazing adventure, nature never fails to inspire us. One of the stronger forces of nature, a wave is unpredictable yet powerful, making it a great tattoo design for optimists and ones who have overcome great challenges. If you’re looking for new ink inspiration, we rounded up the wave tattoos that will show your adventurous side.

Wave Tattoo Meanings and Symbolisms

Tattoos not only make a style statement, as they also reveal someone’s personality and core values. In fact, many people get tattoos to symbolize things that matter to them whether it’s a memory, a special event, a loved one, or a purpose in life. Sometimes, tattoos even serve as a gentle reminder, a guide, or even a motivation. Wave tattoos are a mysterious and fascinating form of body art, but do you know it can be great way to introduce a water element symbol into your life too?

From ancient times to the present, water is regarded as one of the four elements of nature. Wave tattoos are a great representation of life, since nothing can live without the water element. It could also serve as a sense of motivation to fight the current, and live a life of freedom just like the waves in the ocean. If you’re moving forward in your life’s journey, wave tattoos can remind you of the great struggles and challenges you overcome, regardless how unpredictable the future is.

Apart from paintings and woodblock prints, waves are some of the most recognizable elements in Japanese art, making Japanese wave tattoos more popular. Most of the time, wave tattoos are depicted with sun, palm trees, mountains, and sea creatures. Do you know that you can even weave your life story in your tattoos? Body ink is a form of self-expression, but it can be also a symbol of victory.

Some people even think of wave tattoos as the milestones in their careers, while others see them as inspirations of their ultimate goal in life. Do you want to tell others about your story, individuality, passion, journey, and dreams in life? If you love the ocean, wave tattoos are perfect for reflecting your passion for surfing, diving, and even water skiing. If think of your body as a blank canvas, embrace the sentiment and get a wave tattoo.

Wave Tattoo Inspirations for You

Depiction of the Ocean

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @stefdtattoos

If you want to show the unpredictable twists and turns in your life, reveal it with your Japanese wave tattoo. These waves are the perfect representation of the life-altering challenges and hardships you faced, leading you to the best version of yourself.

The Water Element

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @tattooist_rara

If you’ve got the water element personality, show it in your wave tattoo. Do you know that those who belong to the water personality are the most understanding of the four elements? They are dreamy, forgiving, devoted, and love deeper than anyone else.

A Form of Art

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @evgenymel

Small tattoos might be simple and dainty, but this Japanese wave tattoo proves that size doesn’t matter when it comes to works of art. After all, even the simplest tattoos have big meanings and are influential to your life.

An Islander’s Dream

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @small.minitattoo

If you love the ocean, a simple wave tattoo designed with a palm tree is perfect for you. It can also be the perfect depiction of your home. Wherever you are, it will remind you to have an unwavering sense of honor and pride.

Finding Nemo

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @mischieftattoonyc

If you want to add a whimsy vibe to your ocean wave tattoo, think of incorporating some sea creatures into the design. The animated film gave some life lessons that can make your body ink more meaningful and expressive.

Wild Waves

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @ilariafragor

Unexpected waves like tsunamis can destroy whole cities if they are big enough. This simple wave tattoo will be a great reminder to take control of your thoughts and emotions, so you’ll never do something you’ll regret later.

Life at the Ocean

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @or.n.ell

The ocean is full of mysteries, yet it remained to look beautiful and serene. If you’re dreaming of swimming deeper into the depths of the ocean, this Japanese wave tattoo is perfect for you.

Blue Ocean Waves

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @1andonlyreeney

In Greek mythology, Amphitrite is the goddess of the sea—and this ocean wave tattoo will give you an ethereal, goddess vibe.

The Great Wave

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @benjamim.garcia

Nothing can create something as beautiful as the natural world, but arts will let us appreciate its beauty. If you’ve seen the “Under the Wave off Kanagawa” masterpiece by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, you’ll be inspired to get a Japanese wave tattoo. In fact, the breathtaking composition even inspired Claude Debussy on his “La Mer” piece.

Infinite Waves

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @hanu.classic

When life gives you waves, you have to learn to surf. The next time you’ll have setbacks and disappointments, this wave tattoo will give you strength and a sense of motivation.

The Passage of Time

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram

Things change but the sea remains the same, making this wave tattoo a great reminder for living the life to the fullest, and striving to be the best person you can be.

Heart of the Ocean

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @unndefine

If you can’t change the wave, adapt to it. This Japanese wave tattoo will allow you to face every challenges with courage knowing you have the heart to overcome adversities.

A Spontaneous Adventure

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @jabi_tattoo

Do you know your ocean wave tattoo can mark your best moments on your board, along with the most cherished memories in your life? Just make everything personal with symbolism, dates, and even names on your body ink.

Language of Dream

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @corrieleah

Do you know water represents our emotional life and the feelings we have under the surface when it comes to the language of dreams? This wave tattoo will remind you to be the master of your thoughts and emotions that will radically change your life.

An Ocean Ripple

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @sunshinesailingteam

Ocean waves are a metaphor for life’s challenges. With this simple wave tattoo, you’ll be able to ride on life’s ups and downs along the coast of your life.

Paisley Waves

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @diogonormandiatattoo

If you want to add a free-spirited, carefree vibe to your wave tattoo, think of paisley and other bohemian-inspired accents, making your body ink more personal.

The Mountain Wave

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @inkspirationuk

A surfer learns to ride the waves, not by controlling the ocean, but by having the skills to deal with them. The choices you make matters in your life’s journey, and a small wave tattoo will serve as an inspiration.

The Rough Waters

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @caracaltattoo

Have you been able to get past a lot of tough times in your life? A small wave tattoo can be the perfect symbolism of your emotional strength, reminding you how strong and brave you are.

The Great Whale and the Sea

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @tattooer_blackkayy

If you want a more realistic depiction of the ocean, think of incorporating sea creatures in your wave tattoo. After all, a whale inspires us to hold our heads up high and ride the waves of life.

Crescent Moon Wave

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @mijeongtattoo

Dreamy and whimsical, this small wave tattoo in a moon shape will inspire you to be strong not letting the negativity of the world puts you down.

The Power of the Wave

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @grizzly_tattooer

Our thoughts and emotions are like the waves at the sea. You might not be able to stop them from coming but you can choose which ones to surf. This wave tattoo is a great reminder that you just need to take another breath whenever you face hardships and challenges.

A Dolphin against the Waves

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @som__tattoo

Do you know waves symbolize strength and life in Japanese culture? If you’re ready to go against the tide to achieve your life goals, this ocean wave tattoo depicted with a dolphin is a great inspiration.

A Story of the Ocean

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @tiaani.riches_tattoos

Do you have a story or memory in your life that you would like to weave with your wave tattoo? Think of incorporating names, symbolism, and spirit animal into your body ink.

The Rising Sun

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @sweeeetdee

You may fall off your board, but you can always get back on and ride the next wave. This wave and sun tattoo will inspire you to shine light in the darkest of times.

On the Coast

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @tattoo_joojoo

Do you have good memories that you wish to reminisce in your body ink? This small wave tattoo shows that playful memories can be relived in a form of art.

The Tidal Wave and the Sun

Wave tattoo
Source: Instagram @eddie.tattooer

Life can sometimes be like sailing the stormy seas, but this wave and sun tattoo will give you courage to ride the biggest waves.

A Wave Symbol

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @dem.inks

In life’s journey, we often get lost, but this simple wave tattoo will lead us to our destination and true purpose.

Polynesian Tortoise Wave

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @tattootris

Sometimes, all we need to do is to take things on our own pace. This wave tattoo with a depiction of tortoise reminds us that we will have the chance to shine, when the time is right.

A Surfer’s Dream

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @chocomillionaire

If you have an adventurous nature, a Japanese wave tattoo will remind you to take new challenges in your life positively.

At the Seaside

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @tanitaweith

If you want to take your summer statement to the next level, think of a wave tattoo. It’s not only a better beach accessory, but also a great reminder that you are a unique and special person.

The Rising and Falling Tides

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @alldaytattoo

Do you have the times in your life that you feel like being “swallowed by the sea”? The ocean might be vast, but this wave and sun tattoo will give you a sense of motivation and courage to face life’s challenges.

The Sun and Ocean Ripples

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @yoshioromero26

When you try new things, you grow as a person. This wave and sun tattoo will help you see the positive side of everything, and make your failures a life lesson to remember.

Rippled Waves

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @rittual_rubio

You can always look back and think “what if”, but this simple wave tattoo will inspire you to live life to the fullest without regrets.

Ocean of Emotions

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @archetattoo

The waves are deeply associated with our emotions, and this skull tattoo will inspire you to be a better person than you are now.

Elemental Force of Nature

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @kurtbayeta

There might be tragedies in the world, but this wave tattoo will give you the courage to make your life more meaningful.

A Horizon Scenery

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @zack_.the_.ripper

Life happens, but this wave and sun tattoo will remind you that you can always start where you are and change the ending of your life story.

Depth of the Ocean

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram

Wave tattoos can have a huge impact on your life, reminding you of the greatest lessons, and giving you the right motivation in your journey. There are lots of risks to take in life, but this ocean wave tattoo reminds you that the riskiest thing is doing nothing for your dreams and true purpose. After all, life is meant to be lived and experienced fully.

The Skyline

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @jmunztattoos

Most of the time, we are afraid to fail, discouraging ourselves to give a good try. This wave tattoo will inspire you to take chances and make mistakes. After all, there will be always tomorrow to start new beginnings.

Rhythm of the Sea

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @littletattoos

Strong waves shape the rocks—and this wave tattoo will remind you to shape your life the way you want, so you won’t fall into someone else’s plan.

The Day and the Night

Wave tattoos
Source: Instagram @naryn.wave

When tragedies happen in our lives, we have the choice of finding the light or keeping ourselves in the dark. This wave and sun tattoo will help you find your inner strength when you need it the most. After all, the sun never forgets to give its light, so be a source of inspiration for others too.

When you spend time at the sea, you’ll learn all the life lessons the nature is trying to teach you. Nature inspires us in endless ways, and some of its greatest power can be found within the simplest tattoo designs. Whether you’re a dreamer or a risk taker, these wave tattoos will surely make your life adventures more meaningful.

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