This study investigates long-term variability of wave characteristic trends in the Black Sea basin over a period of 31 years. The state-of-the art spectral wave model SWAN was applied to hindcast 31-year of wave conditions. The simulation results were used to assess the inter-annual variability and long-term changes in the wave climate of the Black Sea for the period 1979 to 2009. The model was forced with Climate Forecast System Reanalysis winds, which is determined as the best wind source in Van Vledder and Akpinar (2015). To obtain accurate and reliable results the wave model SWAN was calibrated and validated against all, but limited, available measurements at offshore and near-shore locations located in different regions of the Black Sea. In the calibration process, we focus on especially white-capping and wind input parameters and recently developed formulations. Thus, for the Black Sea basin the best setting and model with the best configuration for the source terms in the wind-wave modelling is obtained. The results of the wave hindcast were also validated against satellite data to assess the spatial variability of wave model quality. From the simulation results, the seasonal and spatial variability of the mean annual significant wave height and wave energy period is obtained and discussed.