Speedsurfing Spot: Provincetown Breakwater
The breakwater at the West end of Provincetown Harbor looks like a promising speedsurfing spot in west winds. At high tide during spring tides, the top of the stone pier is only 2-3 feet above the water; some small sections are even submerged. The far end of the breakwater has two bends of 20º and 15º, allowing for slingshots in perfectly flat water near the end of the run.
Wind should be about as good as west wind can get in Massachusett: to the left of the breakwater is a marsh area; the closest dunes that might disturb the wind are about 1/2 mile away. After that, it's a clear fetch for 22 miles all the way to Duxbury.
The Google Earth image also shows a promising sandbar a bit downwind. However, when we walked the breakwater about 2-3 hours after high tide, we did not see the sand bar that emerge. It may be exposed only during low tide, and some areas above it may be very shallow then, too.
|Best For||Top speeds (2 sec, 5 x 10 sec) in W wind.|
|Length||1400 m: 900 m at 105º, 250 m at 125º, 250 m at 140º (in straight W winds)|
WSW and SW may also be ok.
Within ~1-2 hours before and after high tide. Best at spring tides (>10 ft), questionable at neap tides (< 9 ft).
At high tide, the breakwater is 1-4 ft above the water. At low tide, the stone wall will be more than 10 ft above the water, and speed sailing close the the breakwater will be impossible.
|Seasons||Off season - during the summer, parking is likely to be impossible to find, and the Provincetown harbor is full of boats|
|Parking||Limited number of spots at the rotary at the end of the breakwater. There also is a parking lot at the town landing with easier access to the water about 500 m towards the town center.|
|Launch||Off the breakwater, or from a small sandy beach|
|Wind meter||The nearest wind meter is a NWS meter at Provincetown Airport.|
|Sessions||None so far - we just walked the breakwater to check it out.|
Here are a few pictures of the Provincetown Breakwater:
View from the Provincetown end, taken 2 hours after high tide (water level: 9.5 ft).
At this section, the top of the breakwater was about 4 ft above the waterline.
Some sections were a bit higher, but the tide also had fallen by a foot ( (water level: 8.5 ft).
View from the far end, 2 hours and 45 minutes after high tide (water level: 7.5 ft). The shallow areas emerging at the right side would be completely submerged at water levels above ~9 ft,