The Gili Meno 11’6 is a light and surprisingly agile board for its size, and I thoroughly enjoyed taking it for a spin on the water. Just like other Gili boards on the market, it has a sleek design and stylish color scheme (with color-matched accessories and deck pad), and it comes as a complete SUP package.
For anyone looking for a stable inflatable paddle board with a decent capacity, I’d say that Gili Sports has hit the nail on the head with the Meno. The wide dimensions make it steady on the water, perfect for beginner paddle boarders. In fact, the Gili Meno 11’6 one of the more stable boards I’ve tested!
But that’s not the only notable thing about this board. I put the Meno through its paces, and while stability is indeed a notable factor, there are plenty of other reasons to get excited about this SUP.
Compare the Gili Meno 11’6 to Similar Boards
|Gili Meno 11’6||Isle Switch||Blackfin XL||Bote HD Aero|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Sizes||11’6 x 35″ x 6″||11’6 x 35.5″ x 6″||11’6 x 34″ x 6″||11’6 x 34″ x 6″|
|Weight||24 lbs||19 lbs||28 lbs||30 lbs|
|Capacity||485 lbs||425 lbs||485 lbs||315 lbs|
|Construction and durability|
|Features and accessories|
|Gili Meno 11’6||Isle Switch||Blackfin XL||Bote HD Aero|
|Read review||Read review||Read review||Read review|
Let’s take a closer look and discover what makes the Gili 11’6 Meno a board that’s worth your consideration.
Stability of the Gili Meno 11’6 (9.7 / 10)
Stability is one of, if not the most important factor when it comes to stand up paddle boarding, especially for beginners, families, and larger paddlers. I’ve been on my fair share of SUPs, and I can’t stress enough the importance of a stable board, and I had pretty high hopes for the Gili Meno.
First things first, let’s talk dimensions. The Gili Meno measures 11’6 x 35.5″ x 6″, which are pretty good dimensions if you want stability. And with a weight capacity of 485 lbs, this board can comfortably accommodate larger paddlers or even a furry friend! Did I mention that one of our readers loves paddling with their 90-pound dog on this board? That’s what I call a paw-some SUP experience (sorry, I can’t resist a good pun)!
But a board’s dimensions and weight capacity aren’t the only factors contributing to its stability, and the Meno is testament to this. It has two layers of PVC and a carbon rail, which gives it enhanced rigidity,
In my opinion, it definitely feels rigid enough to give you the confidence to venture out on the water without worrying about toppling over.
I’ve tested this board 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 remained impressively stable.
It’s the Most Stable 11’6 SUP I’ve Tested
The Meno turned out to be the most stable board I’ve tested of this length (11’6). 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. That’s right, folks, this board is the real deal.
You don’t have to simply take my word for it. We often hear from our readers regarding the different inflatable paddle boards I’ve reviewed, and one of them shared their thoughts on the Gili Meno, saying, “I took the new Gili Meno out for the first time today. Much more stable than my other board.” That’s what we like to hear!
I can confidently say that the Gili Meno offers good stability, making it an excellent choice for beginners, families, and larger paddlers.
Speed of the Gili Meno 11’6 (8 / 10)
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 testing, the Gili Meno proved to be remarkably fast for a board of this size.
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?
The Meno Holds Its Own Against Comparable SUPs
As part of my testing, 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, especially 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. If you’re someone who wants to glide smoothly and efficiently through the water without sacrificing stability or versatility, then the Gili Meno is a board worth considering.
Tracking of the Gili Meno 11’6 (9 / 10)
If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my time as a paddle boarder, it’s that tracking is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable ride. For those of you who might not be familiar with the term, 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 performance in the tracking department.
First off, the fin setup on this board is a game-changer. The 9″ distance/race fin, combined with the two side fins, really helps keep the board on track. I’ve been on boards with less-than-stellar fin setups, so I can appreciate just how much of a difference this makes.
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.
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. Not too shabby!
Maneuverability of The Gili Meno 11’6 (7.5 / 10)
Now on to maneuverability – another key factor you need to consider when choosing a stand up paddle board. In case you’re new to this, maneuverability refers to the ability of a paddle board to change direction, turn, and steer around obstacles.
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the Meno’s maneuverability, particularly for a paddle board of its size.
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. However, during my test, I found that it was easy enough to turn the board or change direction, feeling pretty responsive on the water.
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. That’s saying something, considering these are popular boards known for their performance.
However, it’s worth mentioning that the Isle Switch, with its more pronounced nose rocker, was slightly more maneuverable than the Gili Meno. But hey, you can’t win them all, right?
Overall I’d say it’s pretty solid, 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.
But generally speaking, if you’re a beginner looking for a stable, easy-to-use paddle board that can still turn and change direction without too much hassle, the Gili Meno is definitely worth considering.
Construction and Durability of the Gili Meno 11’6 (9 / 10)
Let me tell you about the Gili Meno’s construction and durability, which is one of the key factors I consider when choosing a stand-up paddle board. After all, who wants a flimsy board that can’t handle some waves or a little extra weight?
The Gili Meno is made of dual layer fusion laminated PVC, which is a fancy way of saying it’s super stiff and lightweight. In fact, the folks at 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.
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 manufacturers 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, it’s 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”.
Aside from its impressive rigidity, the Gili Meno also boasts a high-quality finish with great attention to detail. Just like other Gili boards, it has an attractive design and aesthetic color scheme. I mean, just look at this beauty – it’s clear that the folks at Gili put a lot of effort into making this board stand out from the crowd.
Features and Accessories of the Gili Meno 11’6 (8.5 / 10)
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 nine inch hatchet fin, which really helped with tracking. The other fins are super useful in shallower waters where the 9″ 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 really 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 really makes a difference. The board also comes with a handy Velcro paddle holder 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 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. Basically, 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 definitely add to the overall value of the Gili Meno 11’6, making it a great option for beginners looking to get into paddle boarding.
Versatility of the GIli Meno Paddle Board 11’6
First off, the Gili Meno 11’6 is perfect for various water activities; 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 light weight but large dimensions make for a versatile board that gives you plenty of options.
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, 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 definitely 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. It’s a board that grows with you, and trust me, you’ll appreciate that as your abilities progress.
Cost and Value
When it comes to price, the Gili Meno is reasonably priced compared to some competitors. I’ve seen some boards with sky-high prices that make you wonder if they’re made of gold. But the Meno? It’s 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. Both 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 more but getting less in return (at least in terms of the full package).
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. Check the current price of the Gili Meno 11’6
Warranty and Customer Service
When it comes to warranties, Gili Sports has got you covered. They 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. And trust me, as someone who’s experienced a leaky paddle board before, having that peace of mind is a game-changer.
Not only does Gili Sports cover your paddle board, but they’re also looking out for your gear. The included carrying bag is covered by a one year warranty, and any accessories that come with your iSUP have a 90-day warranty.
It’s good to know that if you run into any issues with your paddle, leash, or pump, you can count on Gili Sports to have your back. 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.
So, what’s my verdict?
Overall, I’d say the Gili Meno 11’6 is definitely worth your consideration. With its large capacity, lightweight and wide, stable design, it’s a great board for both beginners and more advanced paddlers looking for a versatile SUP with great handling and a quality accessory package.
What do you think? Are you considering the Gili Meno 11’6 for your next SUP purchase? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.