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20 Wave Tattoo Designs Worth Trying If You *Love* The Beach

Haaaalp, I can't pick my favorite.
PHOTO: (left) instagram/ilatj_; (right) instagram/dugichase

Searching for tattoo inspo on Instagram is kinda a double-edged sword. Like, there are so many excellent ideas that it's almost impossible to narrow down your favorites—especially when you're weeding through the thousands of #WaveTattoos. Lucky for you, it's my literal job to make your life easier. Translation: I spent hours upon hours (actually, tho) scrolling through Insta to find the prettiest, most inspo-worthy wave tattoos, including itty-bitty designs and big, splashy watercolors. So buckle in and prepare to screenshot your favorites (I have a feeling you're going to have a few).

  1. This Tiny Wave Tattoo

    There's nothing not to love about this tiny wave tattoo, but the fine-line detailing is what really makes it special IMO.

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  2. This Wave Ribcage Tattoo

    You can't go wrong with a classic wave tattoo on your ribcage.

  3. This Galaxy Wave Tattoo

    What do you get when you combine a graphic moon and a sweeping wave? This insanely cool tattoo design (which, for the record, will look perfect just above your elbow).

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  4. This Wave and Sun Tattoo

    These teeny ankle tattoos are a match made in heaven. Get 'em by yourself or match with a friend—either way, the wave and sun designs will complement each other to a T.

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  5. This Wave Back Tattoo

    I can't decide what I love most about this wave tattoo, TBH.

  6. This Wave and Whale Tattoo

    Take your wave tattoo to the next level with an intricate design like so. Look closely and you'll see a whale, a moon, and a crashing wave.

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  7. This Wave and Heart Tattoo

    What better way to finish off your wave tattoo than with a little heart and star? I love how simple this one looks right on the wrist.

  8. This Watercolor Wave Tattoo

    The watercolor ink throughout this wave tattoo makes it look like a goddamn piece of art. And how cute does it look with a little white t-shirt?

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  9. This Wave Ankle Tattoo

    Looking for something way understated? Try a simple line tattoo on your ankle—it's subtle AF, but you can still show it off when you want to.

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  10. This Tiny Wave Ribcage Tattoo

    I love how this wave tattoo is super tiny and super detailed. Zoom in and you'll see a few ripples and splashes.

  11. This Wave Heart Tattoo

    A heart-shaped wave might sound a little cheesy in theory, but if it comes out even half as cool as this tattoo, you've got nothing to worry about.

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  12. This Wave and Flame Tattoo

    I love a cute finger tattoo, and this wave-and-flame duo is certainly no exception. Get them tatted on opposite hands, or have your bestie match with you.

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  13. This Japanese-Inspired Wave Tattoo

    Here, Hokusai's iconic Great Wave Off Kanagawa print becomes a subtle (yet intensely detailed) upper-arm tattoo.

  14. This Wave Ear Tattoo

    Who needs a curated ear when you've got this sick wave tattoo on your lobe? I love how this one looks with a pair of gold hoops.

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  15. This Behind-the-Ear Wave Tattoo

    Not quite ready for an ear tattoo? No prob, this behind-the-ear option is a great spot for a little wave design.

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  16. These Matching Wave Tattoos

    Whether you're matching with your sister, your mom, or your partner, you can't deny how cute these identical wave tattoos are.

  17. This Abstract Wave Tattoo

    Your wave tattoo doesn't need to be super literal, BTW, as evidenced by this abstract design. The combination of colors in this one is so damn pretty.

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  18. This Wave and Palm Tree Tattoo

    Want something a bit more mellow than a big, crashing wave? Try this super-peaceful design, which includes a palm tree, soft waves, and yellow sand.

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  19. This Blue Wave Tattoo

    Honestly, the watercolor ink adds so much to this stunning ankle tattoo—like, look how the wave stands out with a pair of white sneakers.

  20. This Wave and Shooting Star Tattoo

    A wave, a shooting star, and a moon all come together in this cute fine-line tattoo. What's not to love?

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This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.