The Gili Meno 11’6” inflatable paddle board excels in stability, speed, and versatility, making it a superb choice for both beginners and experienced paddlers. Its impressive dimensions (11’6” x 35.5” x 6”) and high weight capacity of 485 lbs cater well to larger paddlers or those carrying extra gear.
Despite its size, the Gili Meno offers surprising speed and efficient gliding. Its excellent tracking and maneuverability make for an enjoyable, smooth ride in various water conditions.
Price-wise, the Gili Meno offers excellent value for money, sitting in the midrange but providing a complete package that rivals more expensive models.
Reasons to buy
Most stable board we have tested.
High weight capacity of 485 lbs.
Good value for money compared to similar boards.
Reasons to avoid
Not the fastest board, but it is still decent when compared to similar boards.
How We Tested
In my review of the Gili Meno 11’6 Paddle Board, I focused on a comprehensive testing approach that covered several key performance benchmarks. These benchmarks included stability, speed, tracking, maneuverability, construction and durability, as well as features and accessories.
My first test session was conducted solo on a local lake in about 12 knots of wind, where I looked at the board’s handling under these specific conditions.
In a comparative testing phase, I evaluated the Gili Meno 11’6 alongside similar boards such as the Isle Switch, Blackfin XL, and Bote HD Aero. This comparative analysis allowed me to examine how the Gili Meno 11’6 stood out against its competitors.
Stability is one of, if not the most important factor when it comes to stand up paddle boarding, especially for beginners.
I’ve tested the Meno 11’6 in various water conditions and paddling styles, including a windy day with 12 knots of wind. In both headwind and sidewind situations with some small waves, the Meno had good stability.
Gili Meno 11’6
Bote HD Aero
Compared to other 11’6 paddle boards, the Gili Meno 11’6 was the most stable paddle board I have tested. It was slightly more stable than the Blackfin XL (which is one inch narrower) and noticeably more stable than the Isle Switch and Bote HD Aero.
Speed is always a factor to consider when shopping for an iSUP. I know I do! So naturally, when I got my hands on the Gili Meno 11’6, I was eager to see how it would perform in terms of speed.
Now, I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by how fast the Gili Meno was for a large inflatable SUP. You might think that a bigger board would translate to slower speed, but that wasn’t the case here. In fact, during my speed test, the Gili Meno proved to be remarkably fast for a board of this size.
Gili Meno 11’6
Bote HD Aero
Interestingly, when compared to the Blackfin XL, I found the Gili Meno to be slightly faster, although this could be due to the larger paddle blade that comes with the Meno. I have a hunch that if I were to test both boards with the same paddle, they’d have similar speed capabilities. But hey, I can’t complain about a little extra speed, right?
I also compared the Gili Meno’s speed against other popular boards like the Bote HD Aero and the Isle Switch. Turns out, while the Meno was a bit faster than the Blackfin XL and the Bote HD Aero, the Isle Switch took the crown for being the fastest board of this size that I’ve tested. However, it’s essential to remember that speed isn’t everything when it comes to SUPs.
So, what’s the bottom line here? Well, due to its size, it’s clear that the Gili Meno 11’6 isn’t going to break any speed record. But for a board with these dimensions, it’s definitely one of the faster options out there.
Tracking refers to the ability of a paddle board to maintain a straight course in the water. It’s influenced by factors like board shape, fin setup, paddle technique, and water conditions.
I’ll say right away that I was pleasantly surprised by the Meno’s tracking performance.
The Meno comes with three center fins (9.5″, 4.5″, and 3″) and two side fins, allowing you to customize your fin setup for different water conditions and situations. As expected, I found that the Gili Meno tracks the best with the large nine inch hatchet fin.
Of course, even the best fin setup won’t save you if your paddling technique is all over the place. Thankfully, the Gili Meno is pretty forgiving in this regard. With the right paddling technique, it’s super easy to maintain a straight course on this board.
In fact, I found myself making fewer corrective strokes than usual, which meant more time enjoying the ride and less time fighting to keep on track.
Bote HD Aero
Gili Meno 11’6
When compared with the tracking abilities of other boards, I’d say that the Meno is right up there with the best of them. In my experience, the tracking on the Meno was slightly better than that of the Isle Switch, and about on par with the Blackfin XL and Bote HD Aero.
Maneuverability refers to the ability of a paddle board to change direction, turn, and steer around obstacles.
The Gili Meno is a big board, measuring 11’6 x 35″, so naturally, you wouldn’t expect it to be as maneuverable as a shorter and narrower board.
During my test, I found that it was easy enough to turn the board or change direction, feeling pretty responsive on the water.
Gili Meno 11’6
Bote HD Aero
In terms of the other boards I’ve paddled for comparison, I found that the Gili Meno’s maneuverability was better than both the Blackfin XL and the Bote HD Aero.
However, it’s worth mentioning that the Isle Switch, with its more pronounced nose rocker, was slightly more maneuverable than the Gili Meno.
Overall I’d say that the Gili Meno 11’6 is pretty maneuverable, especially for its size. Of course, it’s not going to be as nimble as a smaller board, but it still holds its own against the competition.
It’s worth noting that I’m just over six feet tall, and while I had no trouble handling the 11’6 Meno, smaller paddlers might not have the same experience – so be sure to take this into account.
Construction & Durability
The Gili Meno is made of dual-layer fusion laminated PVC, which is a fancy way of saying it’s super stiff and lightweight.
Gili Sports added carbon fiber rails for extra rigidity, stability, and durability. The result? A very rigid paddle board that doesn’t weigh a ton and can handle a variety of paddling conditions and loads.
Construction & Durability rating
Bote HD Aero
Gili Meno 11’6
The ‘Bend Test’
While the high PSI and carbon fiber rail additions definitely add to the rigidity of Gili Meno, what does this actually mean? How rigid is the Meno in reality?
This is where the “bend test” comes in. In this test, I rest the paddle board on two sawhorses a set distance apart and place 150 lbs of weight near the center of the board. I then measure how far the board bends.
It’s a nice way to get some extra data about a paddle board that isn’t readily available in the board specs or manufacturer’s website.
While this test isn’t an exact replication of how the board would perform on the water, it’s a quantifiable way to measure the rigidity of a paddle board and compare it with other boards.
So, how did the Gili Meno do in the bend test? It bent 13/16″, which is to be expected from a board of this quality.
For comparison’s sake, the Meno bent the same as boards of similar length like the Blackfin XL. The Bote HD Aero bent slightly less at three-quarters of an inch, while the Isle Switch bent considerably more at 1 3/16”.
Features & Accessories
One of the first things I noticed about the Gili Meno bundle was the variety of fins included with the board. It comes with three center fins (9.5″, 4.5″, and 3″) and two side fins, allowing you to customize your fin setup for different water conditions and situations.
I found that the Gili Meno tracks the best with the large 9” hatchet fin.
The other fins are super useful in shallower waters where the 9″ center fin would hit the ground and where being able to paddle takes precedence over tracking.
The large deck pad offers plenty of grip and is color-matched, which honestly, just looks cool (though is pretty common nowadays).
The large six D-ring bungees on the nose and tail allow you to strap down all the gear and dry bags you could ever want!
With 22 D-rings available, there’s more than enough space to attach your leash, an optional kayak seat, and tie down extra gear.
Gili has also added some extra grab handles on the bungees, which makes carrying the board around so much easier.
I’m not sure why other brands haven’t caught onto this, but it’s a small detail that does make it easier to handle to board.
The board also comes with handy Velcro paddle holders for those times when you’re SUP fishing or practicing SUP yoga.
With five action mounts and two Scotty mounts, you’ll have plenty of points to attach your fishing racks, action camera, rod holders, cup holders, or other gear.
Accessories Included with the Gili Meno 11’6
Now, let’s talk about the premium iSUP accessory bundle that comes with the board. It includes a pump, leash, rolling backpack, paddle, fin kit, and repair kit. Everything you need to get started right away.
The pump is manual, so it’s worth noting that it could be worth investing in an electric pump in the future – but it’s enough to get you started.
The paddle itself is pretty solid, but I did have to use a small screwdriver to tighten the screws in the carbon shaft to prevent the top piece from rotating.
I prefer a paddle with the holes and pins like the one from Blackfin, but it’s not a deal-breaker by any means. The paddle also has a nice wide blade, which is great for getting some serious power behind your strokes.
You have the choice of upgrading from a carbon paddle with a nylon blade, or a full carbon paddle for an extra cost.
I think it would be worth splashing out to have the carbon blade, but this is down to personal preference. The nylon blade would be fine for most people.
The accessory bundle also includes a good-quality backpack and an 8′ coiled leash.
All of these accessories add to the overall value of the Gili Meno 11’6, making it a great option for beginners looking to get into paddle boarding.
Features & Accessories rating
Gili Meno 11’6
Bote HD Aero
Versatility of the Gili Meno 11'6
First off, the Gili Meno 11’6 is perfect for various water conditions and types of SUP boarding: you can enjoy flat water paddling, take on the open ocean, or even embark on SUP fishing expeditions! The extra width and stability make it easy to navigate through different water conditions, and I’ve always felt comfortable and in control on this board.
Now, if you’re like me and love bringing along some extra gear (or even some company), you’ll be thrilled to know that this board can support up to 485 lbs! That’s impressive, considering the Gili Meno 11’6 weighs only 24 lbs. This lightweight design makes it easy to transport and carry, so you won’t break a sweat before you even hit the water.
Add some fishing rod holders and load her up with fishing gear for a day of angling, or just take advantage of the large, grippy deck pad to practice some SUP yoga – the Meno is diverse and versatile in its uses.
The Width and Weight Capacity are a Real Bonus
One of our readers shared his experience with the Gili Meno 11’6, mentioning how he loves the board’s extra stability and high weight capacity. This feature allows him to bring along multiple passengers, making it perfect for family outings or group adventures.
However, he mentioned that he misses having a full-length deck pad, as he would love to bring his dog along for the ride, and while it’s still large, the Meno doesn’t have a full length deck.
The size and dimensions are not only great for versatility, but they also make the Gili Meno 11’6 an excellent choice for new or larger paddlers (as the wide deck means it’s extremely stable).
I can attest to this fact; it’s worth repeating that I’ve found the Gili Meno 11’6 to be incredibly stable yet fast on the water, which is perfect for those just starting or looking to improve their skills.
Cost and Value of the Gili Meno 11'6
When it comes to price, the Gili Meno is reasonably priced compared to some competitors. The Meno is priced right in the midrange of paddle boards, making it a great option for those who want quality without emptying their wallets.
For comparison, it’s worth pointing out that the Blackfin XL and the Bote HD Aero have a higher MSRP than the Meno, but they come with fewer accessories.
So, if we’re making a direct comparison there, you could argue that you’re paying less for the Gili Meno but getting more in return.
All this considered, I’d say the Gili Meno offers decent value for money, and for paddle boards of this size and quality, I consider the price to be more than fair.
Warranty and Customer Service of the Gili Meno 11'6
Gili Sports offer a solid two year warranty on all of their inflatable stand up paddle boards, which is pretty standard for top-quality paddle board manufacturers.
This warranty protects you from any defects or damages outside of normal wear and tear.
The included carrying bag is covered by a one year warranty, and any accessories that come with your iSUP have a 90-day warranty.
All you need to do is register your product online to activate the warranty, and the warranty period starts from the date of your purchase.
Gili Sports also offer an optional five year extended warranty on the Meno 11’6 model specifically (at an additional cost). While I’m confident of the quality of Gili paddle boards, I’d say it’s still an investment that’s worth protecting.
The Gili Meno 11’6″ paddle board is the most stable SUP tested in its category, making it a safe choice for those new to paddle boarding or those who prefer a more stable experience.
Its dimensions (11’6” x 35.5” x 6”) and high weight capacity (485 lbs) make it suitable for larger paddlers or those carrying extra gear.
Despite its size, it offers surprising speed and efficient gliding, along with excellent tracking and maneuverability in various water conditions.
If speed is your top priority on the water, the Isle Switch is a better choice than the Gili Meno 11’6. Its design is specifically made for quick and agile movement, making it perfect for those who want a faster paddling experience.
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