Wave Drawing

By Cameron Christian

How do you draw a wave? Well there are many different techniques. The most common wave that is drawn is a 2 dimensional side profile of a wave, this is like the wave emoji, or wave tattoos that are common. There are many other forms, methods, and mediums to use when drawing waves. We love surf art and there are many featured artists on our pages. My favorite canvas, however, is the wave itself. Many people compare a wave face to a canvas and the path they surf to a line. Snowboarders use this terminology too, but one key difference is that snowboarders actually leave visible lines in their snow as compared to surfers, whose lines are visible only for a moment.

This is one of the most beautiful aspects about surfing in my opinion, the temporary nature of the thrill/art/line whatever you want to call it, it only lasts for a moment and forces the surfer to be present. This sort of awareness is described in Buddhism, perhaps one can reach enlightenment through surfing. Art provides a similar focus. This is one train of thought in which individuals compare surfing to an art form.


The way in which one surfs is constantly evolving. Just like driving, skiing, or gymnastics, with more skill you have the freedom and ability to complete more maneuvers. In this way a skilled surfer can choose many different paths, or lines to draw, on their wave. The path they choose shows their artistic interpretation of that wave. 

Waves themselves make surfing an interesting art form because they present themselves as a consistently new and different canvas, almost like painting on a rock, no two waves will ever be the same. The surfer draws lines with his board which has a remarkable effect on the ride and the maneuvers. For example a single fin board often draws larger, smoother curves where as a thruster, or three fin board more often makes quick slashing cuts. A twin fin board it somewhere in between the two- and a finless is closer to a straight line.


Watching surfers and the way they draw lines on waves may give you a new appreciation for surfing. Some remarkable artist in the way of drawing lines in waves are:

  • Rob Machado
  • Ryan Burch
  • Zach Flores
  • Dane Reynolds

And many more....