This Polynesian half sleeve tattoo was prepared for Russ, with a turtle being central to symbolize family, showing him and his wife as the couple in the middle of the shell, and their daughter and son below them, all joined together by braids and flax leaves for family unity.
The star above the turtle shows it as a reference in his life, his direction, supported by the two original families and with braids for union.
The sun surrounds the turtle for joy and eternity while coconut leaves are for prosperity and the molina symbolizes the voyage of the family, together from past to future.
Another central element is the longboard that incorporates the shortboard representing Russ and his father and their common passion for surfing.
The manta and lizard on one side symbolize freedom and protection, while the hammerhead shark on the other represents tenacity and determination along the voyage (the molina) that brings a new start (the koru, and te ha), a new harmony (the Marquesan cross and kuhanu) ,and prosperity (fish and fish hook) thanks to all the things learnt (the stepping stones), protected by te all-seeing eye and the two tiki looking in opposite directions.
Waves and the lokahi symbol represent his passion for the ocean, and the harmony and balance with nature that he feels in it.
Spearheads symbolize the warrior, strength, and tenacity.
The image below helps identifying the individual elements within the half sleeve: