Water temps drop drastically in Talara as the water can be 2°c (5°F) colder on the south side of town than on the north. It rarely breaks, but when it does Punta Arena is a quality lefthand point, which is best at low tide with a moderate swell. Quite sectiony and can be mushy, since the wind gets into it easily.
Low crowds is the positive. Commercial pollution from the oil industry can leave a slick around the whole port area of Talara.