Sea Gods Carta Marina CX Review 

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In this Sea Gods Carta Marina CX Review, we go through everything about this board. From opening up the bag to paddling it in the water. 

We also go through what I liked, and thought could be improved. We also go through all the onboard and included accessories that come with the package and actively compare it to other ISUP touring boards. 

I paddled the Carta Marina CX at Bullock Lake on Salt Spring Island in mid-May and actively compared this board against the Skylla CX. You can see the Sea Gods Skylla CX Review over here. 

Let’s get into the review!

What Did We Think of The Sea Gods Carta Marina CX?

We found the Carta Marina to be a touring board that has above average speed and stability as well as manueverability that rivals all around boards that are 11′. Some of our general impressions of the board were:

  • The Design is beautiful on both the front and back of the SUP. One of my top 2 favorites!
  • The board felt fairly stable throughout a bunch of different paddling manuevers and techniques
  • This would be a great board for multi-day touring due to bungee and D ring placements. Its also has a good weight capacity
  • The Accessories that come with this board made with quality and made with attention to detail
  • Without a doubt you will be the talk of the water with this board!

Sea Gods Carta Marina CX Paddle Board Review Ratings

Below is how I rated the Carta Marina CX. The main rating below is the accumulation of the averages below. Click the links below to jump to each section.

Total Score: 8.9/ 10

Pros

  • Carta Marina CX has Amazing Glide: A lot of this is due to its uplifted nose which parts the water with relative ease.
  • Has Solid Stability for a Touring Board: The Carta Marina CX is a board that has a good level of primary stability, even when you are putting in harder paddle strokes and picking up speed.
  • The Deckpad grips very well: Sea Gods have some of the grippiest diamond-grooved deck pads around. 
  • Good Amount of Bungee Deck Webbing: I especially appreciated the front deck webbing held closer together, allowing you to stash smaller items on your board. 
  • The design on Both Front and Back Are Stunning: I especially appreciate the print on the top of the board that has nautical decals all over the board.
  • The Paddle is Well Designed: I liked all the fine details on the paddle including the 10-degree angle, the teardrop shape and the way the handle has a channel that keeps it in place. 
  • The Bag is well-made and Tough!: This is one of the better-made/ designed bags in the ISUP industry. It is made of a Canvas material and has large heavy-duty zippers that will endure almost anything. 

Cons

  • The Tracking Performance was Okay: To be fair to this board it is 6” less length and a bit wider than some of the other touring SUPs we’ve reviewed. It did 6.5 strokes a side before you had to correct it.
  • A Kickpad would be a nice addition: Because this board is a bit longer compared to your average all-around board a kick pad would have been ideal to include to help folks with pivot turns.

Who Should Be Using the Carta Marina CX? 

The Carta Marina Is a great touring/ hybrid board that bridges the gap between stability and speed. The Carta Marina is best for:

  • Intermediate Paddlers who want an upgrade from All Around SUPs
  • Touring Paddle Boarders who want an inflatable
  • Less Experienced paddlers who want to get into touring

One of the things that does open the board up is the fact that it has a 32” width which is the same as many All Around boards. This lessens the degree of difficulty a beginner would have learning to paddle board compared to hoping straight onto a thinner 29” touring ISUP.  

What SUP Activities Can the Carta Marina CX Be Used For?

Being a touring/cross-touring spec board the Carta Marina CX can be best used for casual to fitness paddling activities.

Recreational Paddling

The Carta Marina CX can be used for day paddling or a fun day out on the lake with some key performance advantages. It’s an ideal board for lakes, coastal waters, larger rivers, and protected bays. It can paddle through waves well thanks to its pointy noise which allows the board to displace the waves as it cuts through them. 

Day Touring

This is the ideal use for this board. It’s a board that offers a good amount of glide and speed. This will allow you to cover distances quicker than your previous all around SUP. I actually think this board would be ideal for the tidal conditions in my local testing spot the Nikomekl river. The board’s speed and stability would be well-equipped to tackle the movement of the tides and wind going with and against them. 

Multi-Day Trips

In my mind, this would be an ideal candidate for a multi-day trip as well. There is plenty of bungee deck webbing on this board with 6 rows and 4 free D rings on the middle/ sides of the board. 

It’s glide will also help you cover more ground over a day compared to all around boards. Its stability will not keep you as much on edge as those touring boards that have a thinner width profile. 

Carta Marina CX On-Water Performance

Overall this is a very well made SUP that characterises everything you would want from a touring board. It offers good speed and stability and some decent specs for tracking and maneuverability. 

Rating FactorScoreAverage SUP Score
(Touring ISUPs)
Total On-Water Score8.98.4
Stability Score9 /107.5
Tracking Score8 /109.25
Speed Score9.5 /109.13
Manueverability Score9 /107.75
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

Stability 

The Carta Marina offers good overall stability that can rival some all around boards. Which in itself is pretty impressive. It also opens the door to having more paddlers of different skill levels onboard. Upon first standing on the Carta Marina CX I did feel that the Sea Gods Skylla CX (board tested in the previous run) was more stable overall. But this is also because it is a wider board from its width which offers the paddler a little bit more of a platform to stand on.

When doing harder/ faster paddling strokes the Carta Marina CX felt stable throughout which is something I can’t say about some of the other inflatable touring boards I’ve tested.  That extra stability gives you more confidence to keep going at a certain pace and have more fluid movements compared to a board that is always on edge..

Editors Notes

Tracking

The Carta Marina offers an average tracking score with 6.5 strokes per side until you have to correct. Coincidentally it’s also the touring SUP average score of boards we have tested. 

Tracking FactorPaddle StrokesAverage Paddle Strokes (Touring ISUPs)
Paddle Strokes
To Keep Straight Course
6.56.5
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

To be fair to the Carta Marina CX though, It is 6” shorter in length compared to most of the other touring ISUPs we have tested and is one of the wider ones that we have tried. These two factors will impact the tracking no matter what board you are on. So when you factor that in it’s not much of a drop-off compared to some of the best-performing touring scores at 8 strokes a side. 

Speed

Based on the feeling of paddling this board compared to other touring ISUPS I felt this board had a lot of glide per stroke due to how the hull is designed. The hull has a bump on the bottom before the nose rocker is turned up which helps the board displace the water smoothly. 

There was a lot less water disturbance when I put more powerful strokes into this board compared to the Skylla CX which was tested about a half hour before. 

I will be doing more concrete speed tests with all of the touring boards I have tested and will be putting them all in the same water conditions so stay tuned for that. 

Maneuverability 

This is the area where the Carta Marina CX’s 12’ length shined. The Carta Marina was able to do 4 full reverse sweep strokes compared to the average of 6 done by other touring SUPs, which in itself is quite impressive. Heck, the Carta Marina’s scores rivaled a lot of all-around board scores that we have on our list as well. 

Manueverability
Factor
Paddle StrokesAverage Paddle Strokes (Touring ISUP’s)
Paddle Strokes for Reverse Sweep Stroke46
Paddle Strokes for Reverse Side Paddles1416
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

In terms of reverse side paddles the Carta Marina CX also sported an impressive score with 14 compared to the average of 16 we’ve had with our other touring SUPs. Much like the reverse sweep strokes the Carta Marina CX rivaled a lot of the scores of the 11’ all-around boards we have tested in our list which is impressive in its own right. 

From pure feeling on the water the Carta Marina felt like it could turn pretty easily if you wanted it to. Its scores were less impressive compared to the Skylla CX but once again the Skylla is shorter in length and has the extra inch gives it more maneuverability. 

Sea Gods Carta Marina CX Stats Deconstructed

  • Type of Board: Recreational
  • Length: 12′
  • Width: 32″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Volume: 319 L
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 350 Lbs
  • Materials: Cross Weave Drop Stitch (criss crossed layers of drop stitch that are fused from upper and lower layers

The Carta Marina CX is an improved version of it’s ULF cousin. The ULF is short for Ultra Light Fusion. The Carta Marina CX is 4.5 lbs lighter than the ULF version. So what’s the difference? Short story short the CX has reinforced strands fused to the PVC that allows them to use fewer materials. The longer answer is…

Rating FactorScoreAverage Score (Touring ISUP)
Construction Score9.5 /109
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

CX stands for Cross Weave Drop Stitching which describes how the strands of drop stitching are layered. They are crisscross strands reinforced via heat fusion to the top and bottom layers of the board. These crisscross strands allow the manufacturer to use less drop-stitch materials making the board more lightweight and rigid

The Carta Marina also offers heat-welded seams on the rails that add fewer failure points and an extra layer of reinforcement on what is typically the weakest part of the board and the most susceptible to failure. Sea Gods warranty also backs this which we will get into in the warranty section. 

Carta Marina CX Board Profile

A good touring board is a SUP that simply has a pointed nose and off you go right?? Not quite, just because a board has a pointed nose doesn’t automatically mean it will be a good touring board. However, the Carta Marina has a lot of characteristics that make it a good touring for a variety of different uses.

For one they use an uplifted nose rocker which allows the board to glide through the water with minimal disturbance. This gives the board a good amount of speed that allows the board to have more glide per stroke. 

The width of the board is 32” which is typically wider than your average touring SUP. This does marginally affect the tracking of the board along with the 12’ length. However, it does narrow out at the tail which does help aid in giving the board that hydrodynamic glide. 

Does this mean a thinner width is always better for touring ISUPs? Well, it depends on what you favor in a touring SUP. If stability is the most important thing for you the Carta Marina CX is one of the best choices as you will feel more sure-footed in different conditions compared to its skinner counterparts. 

Carta Marina CX Board Features (What’s On Deck)

Rating FactorScoreAverage SUP Score
(Touring ISUPs)
Board Features Score7.68.1
Deck Pad Score9.5 /108.5
D-Rings Score9 /107.3
Deck Webbing Score9 /108.2
Action Mounts Score8 /108.5
Handle Score8.5 /108.75
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

The Carta Marina has a lot of very handy and well-thought-out onboard features that allow you to organize the board however you want it. The features are well thought out and have a lot of practicality for a variety of different paddling pursuits. 

Carta Marina CX Deck Pad

The deckpad distinctive grippy deck pad is a feature found on almost all Sea Gods boards. They have some of the best deck pads in the industry because of the distinct edges of the diamond grooves. Most other diamond grooves have more worn-down edges which won’t grip as well. 

I’ve paddled this board both barefoot and with surf booties on and felt plenty of grip with both. 

The design on this one is probably the best in the industry. It features a tentacle coming out of the water which is just a brilliant preview of what’s on the back of the board. 

What’s even more impressive is the fact that the deck pad is spliced. Each color you see is a different strip of deckpadding that is in that color. This allows the colors don’t fade because it’s not simply sprayed on like most other SUPs.

If I had to change one thing it would be putting a kick pad on the back. This helps give you more leverage for more difficult maneuvers such as pivot turns etc. But we also understand that they may have wanted to sacrifice that to have more room to place items in the back bungee deck webbing area. 

Carta Marina CX D Rings

This board offers the following D ring arrangement:

  • 17 D rings Total
  • 6 Rows for Bungee Deck Webbing
  • 4 Rows of Free D Rings
  • 1 Akle leash D ring

The Carta Marina CX offers 4 D rings in the middle of the board that you can use to attach a kayak seat, cooler, shoulder straps for carrying the board or your own do it yourself rigging for bigger items. Those bigger items could be for multi-day touring bouts with items such as tents, tarps, bigger dry bags, etc. 

There’s also a D ring on the tail of the board which sports the ankle leash. We talk more about the deck bungee arrangement below. 

Carta Marina Deck Bungees

Sea Gods have gone a bit off the board with their bungee arrangement and I personally like it. There are 4 rows of deck bungees at the front which are close together. The closer arrangement allows you to put smaller items in the front without worrying about them falling off. I easily put my water bottle on the front bungees while I carried the board to the dock and it was secure the entire time. 

The front bungees can hold items such as:

  • Deck Bags
  • Water bottles
  • Small speakers
  • Different-sized dry bags
  • Waterproof phone cases
  • And much more

The rear deck bungees in comparison are a lot smaller. I like to put things such as:

  • Small coolers, waterproof speakers
  • Dry bags that I don’t reach into too often
  • Sunscreen

Carta Marina CX Action Mounts

The Carta Marina CX has 2 action mounts in the front bottom rows of the deck bungees that are M6 threaded. 

They can hold things provided by Sea Gods such as:

  • Waterproof Marine Lights
  • Action Camera Mounts

Like with the Skylla CX, we would have liked to see the board have a nose action mount for better wide-angle views with the camera or action camera. 

Cart Marina CX Handles

This board offers the paddler 7 different handles to grab onto. 

  • The front and rear ones can be used for carrying/ guiding the board in the water
  • The two front bungee handles for kids to hold onto
  • The two rear middle handles to help haul yourself onto the board from the water
  • The middle handle for carrying the board to its destination.

One thing I would change with these handles is switching the neoprene to the bottom of the handle and the nylon on the top instead of how they have it which is vice versa. I prefer having the neoprene on the inside of the handle as it is softer and does not dig into your hands as much as the nylon. Once again though the board is light enough that it shouldn’t be too much of a problem unless you have far to walk.

Sea Gods Carta Marina CX Accessories

Rating FactorScoreAverage SUP Score
(Touring ISUPs)
Accessories Score8.68.8
Backpack Score9 /108.8
Paddle Score9.5 /108.8
Pump Score8 /108.7
Fin Score8 /108.3
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

One of the things I love about Sea Gods is the quality of their accessories. All of their accessories have a good amount of attention to detail allotted to them. While it may not sound like something to consider, good quality accessories go a long way in making your set-up/ take down and your time on the water all the more enjoyable and easy

Carta Marina BackPack

One of the main things I look for in a backpack/ bag is “will the whole package fit back into the bag with no problem?” Thankfully it’s a resounding yes when it comes to Sea Gods backpacks. They are made of tough canvas material and come with large heavy-duty zippers. These bags are supremely well-made and can take a beating. 

Another thing I appreciate is the bag comes with a good set of heavy-duty wheels. While the board is relatively lightweight, as soon as you add all the accessories with it things can start to become heavy! This is where the wheels can come in, they allow you to roll the package around conveniently over most even surfaces. 

I liked how many handles this bag has as well. There are a total of 5 grab handles. Now this may sound a bit over the top, but trust me, when you are wanting to pull the board from a tight space such as a trunk or truck these handles are a godsend.

Editors Notes

There is bungee rigging on the bag to fit those bigger items such as PFDs or you can clip on kayak seats etc to them. I would have liked to see a big pocket on the outside so that you could fit the smaller odds and ends of the package or anything else you want to bring. However, Sea Gods does have fin pockets inside the bag which allows you to fit fins, etc, inside. 

The design of the bag is also notable as there are swooshes on it followed by the prominent Sea Gods logo in blue. It is one of the better-looking bags out there.

Sea Gods Carbon Hybrid Paddle 

What stands out about this paddle is the amount of detail on the blade.

The blade features a teardrop shape which is used for power strokes and is angled at about 10 degrees. Another cool feature that you will rarely find on paddles that come with packages is the little edges on the bottom of the blade. 

These edges have a “V” that follows the blade outwards. This is called a double dihedral shape. This V helps direct water to the sides and gives it more traction in the water. This prevents your blade from going side to side while completing your stroke.  

The carbon hybrid shaft was also lightweight but offered a good degree of flex when doing those heavier paddle strokes. I also liked the carbon feeling of the handle and appreciated the fact that the clamps don’t get in the way of your hands as you are paddling. 

The total paddle weight is 1.7 lbs and can break down into 3 pieces. It can also be used as a kayak hybrid paddle if you buy the kayak blade conversion kit from Sea Gods. 

Carta Marina CX Triple Action Pump

The manual pump that comes with this package is one of the better ones. It’s a triple-action 2-chamber pump that allows you to get more volume of air in the board compared to the cheap single-chamber pumps that your average SUP board comes with. 

I’ll be 100% honest with you folks, I did not use this to pump up the board. I usually use electric pumps for my pumping as I can use that time to set up the board/ prepare. I like to work smart and not hard and my back thanks me for it ;).

Editors Notes

However, I have used these types of pumps before. I’ll take them any day over the single-chamber pumps! There is a knob on there that has 3 settings. When you are pumping up the board you want to start on the first stage to get the most air into the board. At about 4-5 PSI the pumping will be harder so you want to switch it to the 2 setting. The 2 setting pumps from both chambers but on the down stroke. It will start getting more difficult when you get to 9-10 PSI so at that point you switch to the 3 setting which uses a single chamber on the up and down motion. 

You can also use this pump to deflate the board. This is handy when you want the board to fold easier and more compactly to fit all the other accessories in the bag. 

Sea Gods Fin

The fin is a bendable plastic bright green fin which I very much appreciate the thought of. How many times can you see yourself forgetting a bright green fin on the shoreline as compared to a black one that semi-blends into the rocks?

The fin uses a click-in fin system. This means sliding the metal part in and pushing the fin down. Make sure you have at least 1-2 rubber nubs in the slots.These are the things that keep the fin in place!

Sea Gods also uses a US fin box which means you can use other paddle boarding/ surf fins with it that have the same designation. You can also change the fin types to dolphin, touring, or river fin depending on where you are paddling. 

Carta Marina Set-Up/ Take-Down

The Carta Marina is a fairly simple board to set-up and take down thanks to the large interior pocket of the backpack. I personally set up this board with an electric pump, filled it, and walked it down to the lake next to our cabin. 

I ended up walking a few hundred meters away with elevation changes and the board felt manageable to carry thanks to its 21 lb weight. I would have liked to see the neoprene on the inside of the middle handle instead of the outside but the board was lightweight enough to not be a big deal in that regard. I set up the fin by clicking it in on the dock and away I went padding!

Rating FactorScoreAverage Score (Touring ISUP)
Set-Up/ Take Down Score8.5 /108.3
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

For takedown we walked the board to the cabin and brought them inside to deflate there. I usually like to use the pump’s deflate option to take all of the air out of it but this time I didn’t have as much time to do this.

After deflating some of the air out of the board I managed to find a good fold and put the board back into the bag. I do wish that they adopted the 2 piece fin box with the Carta Marina CX like they did with the Skylla CX as this 2 piece fin box makes it much easier to fold the board towards the end

About Sea Gods

Sea Gods is a company that was started by Ryan and Mandy Johnston. I have gotten the pleasure of knowing them over the years as they live in the same city that I do! They offer fantastic customer service on their boards and are always extremely helpful with any questions I have had in the past. 

Sea Gods Returns and Warranty 

Sea Gods offers a lifetime warranty on their products which covers the lifetime of the paddle board. While I was originally unsure of the exact period Sea Gods states on their website “Approximately 5 years” which is one of the better warranties for ISUPs. 

The warranty does not cover external damage, negligence, improper use such as overinflation etc. These are standard terms with inflatable paddle boards these days. 

The return period is 30 days and the board has to be in like new condition before returning it. You do have to pay for the return shipping cost and there is also a 10% restocking fee that needs to be paid

Where to Buy the Sea Gods Carta Marina CX

You can buy the Carta Marina CX from Sea Gods website! They also have an online store chat during business hours where they will answer any of your questions. 

Is the Carta Marina CX SUP Worth It?

If you want a smooth gliding touring board that offers a good amount of primary stability then the Carta Marina CX is a great board to choose!

It’s also a great board for:

  • Multi- Day Trips
  • All Around Paddlers who want to upgrade to a touring ISUP
  • Touring Paddle Boarders who want a portable inflatable SUP
  • Fitness/ Day Paddling
  • Recreational Paddling (Just don’t paddle too fast and leave your friends with their Amazon boards behind 😉 ) 

Have you got any tips or tricks about the Carta Marina CX or any questions? Feel free to aks us on our Facebook page!

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Author:
Hey, My name is Derek Lenze and I'm the owner of Inflatable SUP Authority. I've had over 20 years experience with watersports and over 10 years of various paddle boarding experience. My new-found passion is bringing my stand up paddle boaring knowledge in an explainable and actionable way all the while giving you my unbiased takes.