In this Gili Komodo review, we will be analyzing and deconstructing the Gili Komodo Stand Up Paddle Board.
We review everything from who it’s for, environments it can be paddled into, the board construction accessories, and on-water performance.
We will also be comparing the Komodo to other paddle boards both in the Gili family as well as other companies that have similar stats that I have first-hand experience in.
Ready? Let’s get into it!
Gili Komodo Review Ratings
Below is how I Rated the Gili Komodo. Click the Links below to jump to each section.
Total Score: 8.1 (Average of Below Numbers)
- On-Water Performance – 8.5
- Stability 8.5
- Tracking 8.5
- Speed 7.5
- Maneuverability 8.5
- SUP Construction – 8
- Board Features – 8
- Deck Pad 9
- D Rings 8
- Deck Bungees 8
- Action Mounts: 7.5
- Handles 7.5
- Accessories – 8
- Backpack 8
- Paddle 7.5
- Pump 7
- Fins 8.5
- Set-Up/ Take Down – 8
- Solid Stability for a beginner paddler
- Unique colors and designs
- A portion of Gili’s sales go towards helping save the oceans through various charities
- Gili has lots of positive reviews on the quality of their customer service
- The Komodo has excellent ratings across different platforms
- Gili responds well to hiccups in orders
- Board cuts through chop sufficiently
- Great Paddle Board for Dogs
- A good amount of Bungee Deck storage room
- Features 18 D rings on board
- Paddle Holder is well places
- While advertised as a yoga board it could be a bit wider for that purpose
- The pump is only single chamber
- A slight bit slower compared to other Gili boards
Who Should Be Using the Gili Komodo
The Gilli Komodo is ideal for paddlers in the beginner to intermediate skill range. In Fact, it seems many customers have bought the Komodo as a first board and they seem to be pleased with it.
The Komodo is also a good day paddling board due to its slightly tapered nose and hydrodynamic profile. On Top of this Gili has 10 D rings dedicated to bungee storage meaning you can put smaller to medium-sized valuables at the front or rear of the board.
Who isn’t the Gili Komodo for?
This board may be a bit too basic for those advanced level boarders who want more high adrenaline running such as touring or surfing.
While the Komodo tracks efficiently thanks to its racing fin the profile of the board would be less than ideal for events like SUP races. But it’s a bit unfair to mention this as even on their website Gili states it’s for beginner to intermediate paddlers.
For faster-paced running take a look at the Gili Meno Touring package.
What SUP Activities can the Gili Komodo be Used For?
Despite being labeled as a beginner to intermediate all-around board, the Gili Komodo can still be used for a good amount of activities.
This is the primary use for the board for those who want some paddling performance that exceeds the Gili Air series. The deck pad covers almost the entire top of the board which means there are no slippery bits that you will encounter.
It also features a good amount of storage room for those on day trips. There have been plenty of customers who mention that they bring their dogs and kids with them on the board as well!
The Komodo’s 33” wide frame coupled with its 10’6” length makes it a good board that balances stability, tracking, maneuverability, and speed.
More on the On-water performance below.
As mentioned above the Komodo is Gili’s answer to yoga SUPs.
Its large deck pad covers most of the board which gives you plenty of room to move around on the whole surface of the board.
We also really liked the diamond grooved deck pad in the back of the board that helps with further grip. In my personal opinion diamond grooved deck pads are the most grippy.
The Gili Komodo has a lot going for it in terms of features that are friendly for Yogi’s but I wouldn’t rate this as the best SUP yoga board. In my personal opinion, I believe it needs to be a bit wider like the Nixy Venice to have that true stability that many SUP yogis crave
The Gili Komodo offers 3 action mounts that can hold fishing rod holders, Go Pros, and cell phones to help you fish and document your journey.
What makes the Komodo a particularly underrated fishing pick is the fact that it offers a good amount of accessible storage at the front. Often times as a fisherman it can be tough reaching back and grabbing things from the rear storage bungees.
So the answer that Gili provided was more storage upfront and less in the back so that you can still strap a cooler in the back without the rear bungees getting in the way.
The Gili Komodo can be transformed into a kayak hybrid thanks to its kayak conversion kit which is sold separately.
With the kayak conversion kit you can paddle the Komodo just like a kayak with the seat and kayak blade that attaches to any of the Gili paddles. This transformation allows you to move at a slightly higher tempo with about the same amount of effort.
What’s handy is that Gili actually has these D rings labeled specifically for the kayak conversion kit to minimize the confusion as to where the straps can be placed.
Paddle With the Pooch or Passenger
There are actually a lot of Gili customers who report that they bought the Komodo to paddle with their dogs or kids.
This deck pad covering the whole surface of the board will be grippier for your pooch which will allow them to perch at the top of the board. As a customer reported below:
“The komodo was the perfect choice for my 4-legged adventure buddy (100LBS) and myself. We spent most of our weeks riding our sup in lakes and rivers everywhere nearby. He’s comfortable on our rides and the board handles beautifully with both of us on it.”Sarah S (Gili Komodo Customer)
What helps the Komodo be a dog-friendly paddle board is because of the deck pad. We’ve mentioned this a few times, but it’s worth noting because it’s pretty rare that a SUP manufacturer covers almost the entire board in deck padding. the full deck pad is also ideal for passenger such as kids to keep grip while holding onto the handles.
Gili Komodo Specifications Deconstructed
- Type of Board: Recreational
- Length: 10’6″
- Width: 33″
- Thickness: 6″
- Volume: 225 L
- Weight: 21 Lbs
- Maximum Capacity: 340 Lbs
The Gili Komodo is made of dual-layer fusion laminated PVC coupled with drop stitch. On the website, it says tripled layered but this is actually a mistake (scroll down to their comparison table to see how they are constructed).
Having read a lot of customer reviews, the Gili Komodo seems to be a well built board with very little complaints on defects found on the Komodo paddleboard.
One big plus of the Gili Komodo is the fact that it weighs 21 pounds which makes it a great pick for lighter paddlers who don’t want to have too much of an issue carrying the board around.
Gili Komodo SUP Profile
When developed, the Komodo was meant to be made as a jack of all trades, versatile board that comes with a bunch of different features.
The shape of the board itself is an all-around hybrid shape that allows the board to have enough hydrodynamics to flow through calm and slightly choppy waves with confidence while providing enough stability for a beginner to feel secure on it.
Whats on Deck
Perhaps the most unique thing about the Gili Komodo is the fact that almost the entire board is covered with deck padding. This makes it a great paddleboard for yoga as well as extra passengers of the furry and non-furry variety.
On Top of the deck pad, Gili has also thrown in some very useful features that are well labeled and thought out.
The Komodo Deckpad
As mentioned above, not only does the Komodo deckpad cover the entirety of the board’s top profile. But it also has different dimensions for each part.
The Komodo features 3 different sections of deck padding.
- Clear Deckpading at the front
- Slitted deckpading in the middle of the board for your feet
- Diamond grooved deck padding in the rear for pivot turns and to grip gear
This is a pretty unique feature within ISUPs as most inflatable boards have 2 kinds. The diamond grooved deck padding in my opinion is the grippiest which makes doing pivot turns a bit easier. If you have smaller valuables it’s wise to place them in the back as the diamond groove will be more grippy for those items to stay in place.
Komodo D Rings
The Gili Komodo features 17 D rings which on average is a pretty good amount to have.
- 6 D Rings for Front storage
- 4 D Rings for Rear Storage
- 4 Free D Rings for Kayak Conversion Kit or Carry Strap
- 2 D Rings at the nose (1 on top and 1 on the bottom)
- 1 at the Rear for Ankle Leash
I personally like the labels that Gili has attached to the free D rings as oftentimes beginners can get a bit confused as to where the kayak seat should be placed on the board.
My only complaint is that it would be hard to strap a cooler to the back of the SUP as usually, a cooler will sit a bit further back than something like a kayak conversion seat. The way the D rings are placed, they are closer to the middle.
Companies like Atoll do a really good job of providing more D rings than you know what to do with, which are great for those bigger items like coolers.
Gili has arranged their deck bungees the opposite of what many other SUP manufacturers such as Nixy do. They feature 3 rows of deck webbing at the front for the bigger items while the smaller items go to the back with the smaller 2 rows of deck webbing.
It’s hard to say which is better but usually, the rule of thumb is whatever items you use most should be at the front of the board. Especially if your hands are preoccupied with a fishing rod.
So if you have bigger items they should be towards the front of the board while smaller dry bags would be towards the back. Loading this board with heavy gear will affect the performance more though as the nose might start to plow the water.
Komodo Mounting Points
The Gili Komodo features 3 mounting points that are available for Gili gear.
- There is one on the nose
- 2 on the front middle of the board
I personality like the nose placement as I find paddleboarding streamers and Youtubers will get a better shot of them mostly in the picture while paddling the board.
Some things you can mount on this board include:
In this category, Gili does fall a bit behind Nixy and iRocker who both feature 4 – 8 Mounting points on their boards. Gili also does not have the variety of accessories that these 2 other companies have as well.
The Gili Komodo SUP features handles in the front, rear, and middle of the board which is standard practice these days with SUP manufacturers.
In my opinion, the front and rear handles look a bit cheaply made compared to the construction of the rest of the board. I believe they are made of nylon material.
The center handle is constructed better with padded neoprene to help you carry the SUP from the shore to the water with relative comfort and ease. The board’s 21 pound construction also helps make this easier as well.
Gili also has grab handles on the front and rear bungees that allow passengers like smaller kids to hang onto the board. I feel that Gili did a good job in the placement of these handles. As this is typically the area that kids perch on.
So while I may have compared Gili less favorably to Nixy with their mounts. Gili has a big leg up on the other 2 brings when it comes to paddle holder placement.
The paddle holder is placed on the side of the board which allows it to be out of the way while doing yoga or fishing.
I believe this is a much better placement as opposed to what the Newport G4 has where the paddle holder is at the front. I often found that this placement got in the way of my paddling strokes sometimes when using the Newport.
The side paddle holder placement is also much easier to access the paddle since it’s located on the middle part of the board. Unstrap the velcro from both sides and you’re off!
Gili Komodo Accessories Explained
The Gili Komodo offers good quality accessories with their board package which is something I always look for in an inflatable SUP. Perhaps the most noticeable is the fact that they included a racing fin in their package. More on that below…
The Gili bag is a well-compartmentalized bag that has clear labels on where certain items should go.
“I like that they label the fin pockets because subconsciously you may just be tempted to throw the fins in the bag but when you come across that clear lettering it breaks you out of that train of thought.”– Editors Note
One of the things that stood out most to me is the fact that Gili, like Nixy, allows you to place the paddles on the side of the bag. This gives you valuable open real estate in your bag for other items you may want to fit inside without moving the paddle around.
The mesh padding on the bag is more than sufficient for backpacking. It features padding on the straps and the back of the bag. As well as features a waist and chest strap for extra support. It’s one of the better bags to sling over your shoulder
The lightweight board also makes it a good hiking pick as the bag does not have the extra weight of the wheels to carry around. I personally prefer when the bags have wheels but I also travel shorter distances on more solid ground from the shore to the water. So this is ultimately a personal preference.
The Komodo package gives you the choice of fiberglass or carbon fiber/ nylon or full carbon paddle with your purchase. The prices go as follows.
- Standard Fiberglass with Nylon Blade (comes with the package)
- Carbon paddle with Nylon Blade (About $80 more than the standard package)
- Full Carbon Fiber Paddle (About $120 more than the Standard package)
If you are just starting out the standard package will be just fine. You only really start to feel the difference when you are paddling on longer journeys. For the vast majority of paddlers who use the Komodo for recreational purposes or yoga, the standard will work well for them.
I personally find that once you are paddling for more than a few hours and you are battling some elements like wind or waves the carbon fiber paddles start to feel like more of a difference-maker. Although the Komodo would not be my first choice of board for that kind of paddling.
The pump that comes with this series is pretty standard with what many other SUP manufacturers offer. It’s a single chamber 2-stage pump that has 2 pumping settings and a pressure gauge.
If I’m honest the pump itself is relatively unimpressive when compared to packages offered by the comparative Nixy Newport that have a double chamber 3 stage pump.
But the advantage of having a single chamber pump is that you have a lighter package and more storage room in the bag for other items you are bringing on your paddling trip.
I have somewhat mixed feelings about the fins. One of the things I love about them is the fact that this package comes with a racing fin. Hardly any other SUP manufacturers do this for packages of this price range so you have the best tracking option available with the board.
The thing I’m not so much a fan of is the fact that the fins are snap-on. This means a quicker set-up time but with snap-on fins, there is always the risk of the mechanism failing.
“I personally prefer fins that are FCS makes because their mechanisms are held in by screw and they slide in which makes them less likely to fail. With FCS fins you also have a bigger variety of manufacturers to choose from for additional/replacement fins.”– Editors Note
That being said Gili did do their homework and offer the following center fins
- 9” Race Snap in Race fin
- 4.5” Snap in Speed Fin
- 3” Snap in River Fin
- 8” Snap in Dolphin Fin (standard with most ISUP packages)
Gili does also offer FCS models of the above but those are for their more expensive SUP models.
The Gili Leash
The leash that comes with the Gili SUP is a comfortable 8” coiled leash. The leash itself can stretch to 5 times its length and features tangle-free double swivels which can fit almost any ankle size.
Most customers that purchase the leash separately seem to have no problems with them at all.
Gili Komodo On-Water Performance
The Gili Komodo is the self-proclaimed “most versatile” ISUP in the Gili lineup. In other words, it’s a great “jack of all trades” board where it does a bunch of things well but is not exceptional in any one area per se. But that’s not always a bad thing, especially when you are looking for a board that will do most on-water tasks sufficiently.
This would be Komodo’s greatest strength. Most customers seem to comment that the Komodo is indeed their first board but many seem to be pleased with its stability.
“I have loved stand up paddle boarding for some time, but always rented them and usually hard boards, a few times an inflatable. I started researching all types for quite a while and decided to go with Gili. I couldn’t be happier with my choice. This board is very stable and rigid, quite similar to the hard boards I rented. It far exceeds the inflatable ones I had used in the past. I live in an apartment, so having an inflatable is perfect. Easy to inflate and transport around. I am excited for so many more adventures to come.”– April (Gili Komodo Customer)
Gili’s 33” width helps it be a stable pick. I wouldn’t say it’s the most stable pick for yoga though. As much as the full deck pad allows you to fully utilize all of the board it may be a bit more tricky to do trickier yoga positions like Astavakrasana or firefly pose.
My Nixy Newport is 33” wide but I would not use it for the trickier yoga poses. I would go as far as a side plank with it but probably nothing more difficult
The tracking of this board is greatly helped by its hydrodynamic nose profile along with its 9” race fin and 5” side fins that are included. The fins not only give this board better tracking but also give it better stability while paddling.
In my experience boards that are 10’6” but feature 5” side fins usually track better than boards that are 11” and have the shorter glued plastic side fins on them. So Gili has done a good job in making this All-Around board track as well as it can.
The Gili Komodo will not be a speed demon and will land in about the middle of the Gili line-up in terms of on-water speed. Boards like the Gili Meno 10’6″, 11’6″ and Touring series as well as the 11’ and 12’ Adventure series will have slightly faster speeds than the Komodo. But the Komodo will be a faster board than the Mako and Manta Ray series.
The Komodo’s 21 lb weight will also help it gather a bit of a better speed than heavier spec boards that have similar dimensions.
The shorter length of the Komodo makes it a bit better to maneuver as opposed to a board like the longer Adventure series. What really aids the Komodo is the diamond grooved deck padding at the back that helps your feet grip the board when you are trying out pivot turns.
The 10’6” length also makes the Komodo a good medium when it comes to maneuverability. I’d imagine with similar stats to my Newport the Komodo would handle very similarly when doing side strokes and sweep strokes.
About Gili Sports
One of the biggest appeals to Gili sports is the fact that the brand donates part of its proceeds to Oceans Initiatives like Coral Reef Alliance and Save Our Turtles charities. This is a rather unique angle but one I’m sure everyone can get behind.
In Fact, part of the birth of Gili Sports was to make a difference to help save and clean the oceans. So right from the very start Gili has been supporting those initiatives.
Gili Sports is founded by Jay Regan.
Gili Warranty and Return Policy
Gili features a 2-year limited warranty and features a 60-day money-back guarantee on all of its inflatable paddle boards.
The warranty is strictly for defects in materials and workmanship so any outside damages caused by you or external elements will not be covered by the company.
The 60-day return policy has a 20% restocking fee attached to it as well. When returning the SUP it needs to be in like-new condition with no visible signs of wear and tear.
The Paddles pumps and leashed have a 90-day warranty and the bags feature a 1-year warranty on defects in materials and workmanship.
What Customers Think
Some of the most common compliments were the fact that Gili had excellent and responsible customer service. One of the customers even reported that when the pump that came with the Komodo broke, Gili sent a dual heavy-duty replacement pump free of charge!
Some other compliments directed at the Komodo board was that it had great stability. Many of the paddlers who bought the Komodo were new to paddle boarding and they were absolutely thrilled how the learning curve to standing on the board was not too difficult.
Lots of people love using this board for dogs as well. I found more than 3 verified customer reviews commenting on how they could take their 90+ pound dog on the board with little problems after the pup got used to the board.
Where to Buy the Gili Komodo SUP
Gili offers free continental shipping to the US and now ships internationally. Below is a map of their shipping times.
Gili also ships internationally but transit time on international shipments ranges from 5 to 12 business days. Taxes and duties may apply and Gili is not responsible for paying them.
Below are some close comparables to the Gili Komodo both in sizes and use.
Nixy Newport G4
I have actively used this board for over a year and it’s been a fantastic addition to my SUP family. Nixy puts the utmost quality in their boards from construction down to their accessories. The Nixy Newport has very similar dimensions to the Komodo except its capacity is a bit lighter but it features more volume.
The Newport G4 is a great board to play and practice your SUP techniques on. Click below to see my fully detailed 1 year review on the Nixy Newport.
The iRocker Cruiser offers similar dimensions but is 4 pounds heavier and made of triple-layer military grade PVC instead of double-layer fusion laminate done by Gili. The Cruiser is heavier because of the extra gluing and PVC layers put into the board.
The iRocker Cruiser also can handle about 60 more pounds of maximum capacity compared to the Komodo at 400 lbs. So it would be a good cruiser pick for those longer SUP journeys.
Should You Get the Gili Komodo Inflatable SUP?
Overall the Gili Komodo has all the elements necessary to be a really solid inflatable paddle board.
It has/ features:
- Raving reviews from Customers
- Offers a great level of stability for beginners
- Is pup approved
- Is a great board to have kids ride along on
- A good board for some basic yoga training
If saving the oceans is important to you then Gili is definitely a company to support as not only does it donate to various ocean clean up charities but its packaging is also made of recycled materials.
Other features like the elongated deck pad that covers most of the top of the board and its action mounts make it one of the most versatile SUPs from the Gili line-up.
Have you got a Komodo? Tell us about how you like it on our Facebook Page!