In this review, we will be going over the Gili Meno 11’6” Paddle Board. We hold nothing back as we go through things we like, don’t like and what needs to be improved.
We also will be comparing the Meno 11’6” to SUPs that are of similar stature as well as other Gili boards to help you make the best choice for what YOU need as a paddler.
Ready? Let’s get to it!
Gili Meno 11’6” Paddle Board Review
Below is how we rated the Gili Meno 11’6” paddle board.
Click the below links to jump to each section!
Total Score: 8.3 (Average of Accumulated Ratings Below)
- On-Water Performance – 8.1
- Stability 9.5
- Tracking 8
- Speed 8
- Maneuverability 7
- SUP Construction – 9
- Board Features – 8.3
- Deck Pad 8
- D Rings 8
- Deck Bungees 8.5
- Action Mounts 8.5
- Handles 8.5
- Accessories – 8.5
- Backpack 8.5
- Paddle 8.5
- Pump 8
- Fins 9
- Set-Up/ Take Down – 8
- One of the more stable boards on the market
- Great board for bigger people finding their balance
- Great starter board for balanced challenged individuals (I was one too!)
- 3 different types of center fins included
- Accessories are top of the line in the Gili line-up
- Features carbon side rails for added rigidity
- Great board to use as a tandem (can fit 2 grown adults without big performance loss)
- Bungee deck cords are removable
- Good amount of room for cargo onboard
- Tracks well, especially with racing fin
- Slower compared to other Gili Boards
- Not the most maneuverable model because of its length
- The shape is more rounded compared to boards like Monterey and Blackfin which affects the speed
Who Should Be Using the Gili Meno 11’6”
First things first, the Meno 11’6” won’t be winning you and SUP races, but that’s okay because that’s not what it is for.
Instead, the Gili Meno series is perfect for those who want to take their families out paddling, often on the same board. Its 35” width makes it perfectly designed for being stable in the water, no matter how inexperienced or experienced you are.
Heck, there are even handles on both the front and the back of the board for little ones to hang onto!
Folks with fur babies, we didn’t forget about you! If you have a bigger SUP Pup that you want to teach the ways of the water, the Gili Meno 11’6” is a pretty solid board to do that as well. Especially if your future SUP pup is a bigger breed like a German Shepherd or Bernese Mountain Dog.
The Board’s 485 maximum capacity allows you to load the board up with almost anything (reasonable) you can think of.
What SUP Activities Can the Gili Meno 11’6” Be Used for?
The wider width coupled with the higher weight capacity allows the Gili Meno 11’6” to be a more versatile board for more activities that require balance.
The Gili Meno 11’6” is a good candidate to be paddling in larger lakes and coastal conditions. What makes this a good board to learn on is the fact that it will give you more stability when you run into chop from waves or those darn jet ski owners who insist on driving past you at least 10 times (SUP Problems).
The wider width and the shape of the board make it feel more secure when these obstacles occur. And they will occur!
Longer Trips/ Expedition Paddling
I wouldn’t go as far as to call the Gili Meno 11’6” a touring board. That distinction is held strictly for the Meno 12’6” and to a lesser extent the Gili Adventure 12. But you can still paddle long distances on it as long as you taper your expectations for on-water speed.
Yes, this can be used as a tandem SUP, and in fact, it should be one of your top considerations for such. The board can actually take on more than 485 lbs according to Gili’s tests but this is reserved for more advanced riders. When the board is loaded that high the performance of the board will be compromised.
This is especially a great pick for longer trips with the family on it. A mother, father, and a smaller family member can paddle this board together, although for optimal stability it’s best if they were all seated or kneeling.
While I wouldn’t say that the Meno 11’6” is the flagship fishing vessel in the Gili lineup, it is a pretty good candidate. The Meno 11’6” features 5 Action Mounts that are compatible with Gili’s single rod holders. It also comes complete with 3 Scotty mounts for rod holder and fishing rack compatibility.
The 35” also makes it an excellent candidate to do some stand-casting or even fly fishing, activities that need good stability when you are doing jerky motions. This width is also good for fishing locations that have a bit more chop in it like windy lakes or coastal inlets.
Our top-rated SUP Yoga board was the Gili Komodo. However, if you are a bigger guy or gal and you want something that feels a bit more steady. This board is a pretty good candidate for yoga.
Smaller SUP Yogi may want to stick to the Komodo though as this board can be a bit more of a struggle to maneuver around if you don’t have a SUP anchor.
Click Here to see our review of the Gili Komodo board.
Like most Gili boards this SUP can be transformed into a kayak hybrid. The board comes complete with clearly labeled tabs that allow you to easily spot where to put the Gili kayak seat.
Gili Meno 11’6” Specs Deconstructed
- Type of Board: Recreational/ Tandem Use
- Length: 11’6″
- Width: 35″
- Thickness: 6″
- Volume: 270 L
- Weight: 24 Lbs
- Maximum Capacity: 485 Lbs
The Gili Meno 11’6” is one of the better-made boards in the Gili stable. Much like the Adventure and Komodo series, it features a fusion dual layer PVC construction. Which is becoming much of the standard for mid-tier paddle boards these days.
What the Meno has that these other aforementioned SUPs don’t is a carbon rail system. Similar to those that are included with the Nixy boards and the Blackfin SUPs. The carbon railing gives the board a bit more rigidity.
Although truthfully if you want to make your board as rigid as possible you gotta increase the PSI. What’s cool about the Meno 11’6” is that it is rated up to 18 PSI which is an improvement on most other boards that are within the 15 PSI range.
Gili Meno 11’6” Board Profile
At first glance, you will notice that the Meno 11’6” has a more rounded profile compared to other Gili SUPs. One of the tradeoffs to being stable is that you lose some hydrodynamics on the board.
If you are looking to go farther faster, it’s best to look at the Adventure 12 or the Meno 12’6” which is Gili’s only true touring board that measures 31” in width.
For those who want a board built for stability and weight, you’ve come to the right place! At 24 Lbs the Gili Meno is one the lighter side of the “Expedition” boards like the Nixy Monterey, Blackfin XL, or Bote HD Aero series. This helps you propel the board a bit quicker compared to the later heavier picks.
Click here to check our Gili Adventure 12 Reviews.
Whats On Deck
The Gili Meno 11’6” board is one of the more feature-rich SUPs in Gili’s lineup. On top of having higher quality materials on the board, they also include a wide array of different features which we go into detail below.
Gili Meno 11’6” Deck Pad
The deck pad takes up about ⅔’s of the board and comes in two different textures. The Grooved deck pad and the diamond grooved deck pad towards the back.
Personally, I think this is a smart move from Gili as I often find the diamond grooved to be the grippier of the two pads.
This comes in handy when you have to make quick pivot turns without worrying about your footing. There is also a stomp pad at the back that allows you to use its leverage to make these pivot turns a bit easier to learn.
Overall the deck padding feels good on the feet as it provides plenty of cushioning for those longer paddles.
Gili Meno D Rings
The Gili Meno features 20 D rings total with free spots available on the deck. The availability in the middle of the board allows you to not just have a kayak conversion seat kit in the middle but also gives you 4 D rings towards the back which you can use to strap bigger items like tents, coolers, or just about anything you can really think of.
We have always been fans of Gili’s D ring implementations and in this case, this is no different.
Gili Meno Deck Bungees
The Gili Meno 11’6” features 2 main areas to store gear. The front of the board and the back. The Gili Meno 11’6” features:
- 3 rows of bungee deck webbing at the front
- 2 Rows of Bungee deck webbing in the rear for smaller items.
When paddling I usually like to have my more used items up front for easier reach and my lesser-used items in the rear. In this case, Gili makes bigger items the priority upfront.
Items you can store in the front can be anything from, Dry bags, tents, and change of clothes. In the rear storage area, you can store smaller items like sandals, water bottles, etc.
“I personally like to keep these smaller items upfront but if you are going for longer paddling excursions you may find you need access to the bigger stuff up front. It all depends on how you organize your board.”Editors Notes
The Gili Meno series features 5 Action Mounts on the board which are little screw housings that support Gili and other board accessories.
On top of that, it also houses 2 Scotty Mounts on the board which can support both Fishing rod holders and Fishing Racks that can be the main console for all of your fishing gear. The Scotty Mounts don’t just support Gili accessories but also any Scotty Mount Product.
Some things you can add to the action mounts include:
The Gili Meno 11’6” comes with 3 carry handles and 4 passenger handles for the younglings who want to hang on during those wavey trips.
The handle that you will use most is the middle which is padded with neoprene. The handles at the font and the back appear to be nylon, which is not the softest material on the hands.
But on the other side of the coin, you should only really be using the center handle for transportation. The front and rear handles are more for guiding the board in the water.
Gili Paddle Holder
I’ve said this a few times on this site but Gili has some of the best paddle holders I’ve come across. Its placement on the side of the board is perfect because you can easily access it when you want to paddle again.
It’s also out of the way of any onboard activities you may be doing like SUP yoga or SUP fishing where you don’t need to be holding your paddle at all times.
A quick hint, for those activities an anchor is super handy to have!
Gili Meno 11’6” Accessories Explained
The Gili Meno series provides an upgrade over lower-cost models like the Adventure, Mako, and Air series. We go over what these upgrades entail below.
Gili Meno Roller Backpack
Unlike other Gili bags, this particular model actually features 2 wheels on it so you can roll your package around. Gili has still maintained all the rest of the things that make the starter bag great. Below are the dimensions of the bag:
- Height: 41” (104 cm)
- Width: 16” (41 cm)
- Depth: 12” (31 cm)
- Weight: 4 lbs (1.85 kg)
The main difference between this bag and the standard Gili bags is the roller wheels and the fact that the bag is a few inches taller in height.
“The bag features the main pocket to fit your board, pump, and paddle. It’s pretty roomy and is not too bad to pack up and put back into the bag. Although in my experience, when folding bigger 11’6” SUPs up for the first time you may have to re-do it a time or two to get it into the bag.”Editors Notes
The bag also comes complete with mesh padding in the back, padded shoulder straps, waist strap, and chest strap to make sure that the bag is on your back securely. It also comes with 2 zippered pockets in the front (one clearly labeled for the fins) and a bottom one for small accessories you may be bringing with you.
On the side of the bag, there are handles on either side that allow you to carry the bag like a suitcase as well as many different loops to hang other accessories off of and 2 mesh pockets on the sides for things like water bottles.
Even if you were not looking to buy the Meno 11’6”, Gili does produce some great SUP bags that are worth upgrading to, even if you have a budget Amazon SUP. The difference in the quality of bags between manufacturers and “Amazon brands” is night and day.
Gili Meno Available Paddles
The paddle that comes with the Meno 11’6” board is a 3-piece paddle that extends from 67” to 86” in length. It breaks down to 38”, weighs 29 ounces, and floats in the water in case you get the case of the butter fingers.
Since the Gili Meno comes with a higher tier of accessories they made the paddles that come with the board a carbon shaft with a nylon blade or you can upgrade to a full carbon paddle for an extra $65.
I see a lot of the time that the Gili paddle boards go on sale so the increase in price for a paddle upgrade would be less.
The paddle that comes with the Gili Meno 11’6” board is good enough if you are a beginner to intermediate paddler. If you plan on going for longer excursions then upgrading to the full carbon paddle may suit you best.
Gili 3 Stage Pump
One of the first things you may have noticed when comparing Gili models is that this particular one features a bigger 2-chambered manual pump!
This pump features 3 inflation modes that you can use that change how much airflow you put into the board. I have found these types of pumps much more useful compared to single-chamber pumps. They are quicker, more efficient, and are only a tiny bit bulkier in comparison.
“I still am a firm believer that if you are taking your paddle board out multiple times you should still upgrade to an electric pump. You look forward to your paddling journey so much more when you have the device do the work for you. It also gives you more time to set up your board while you have the pump doing the work.”Editors Note
Gili has a 12V electric pump that seems to be a hit with customers. They also have a pump battery pack in case you are away from your car and you still need the pump to be operational.
Out of many of the paddle boards I have reviewed I have to say that Gili did the best job in packing value into the package when it comes to the fins.
Most boards come with a standard 8” -9” Dolphin center fin and side fins that are either glued on or removable.
Gili went all out with this package and decided that this package should come with 3 different center fins! The fins you get in this package are:
- 9” Race fin
- 4.5” Speed fin
- 3” River fin
- Side fins
So without having to spend another dime you can experiment with fin set-ups with this board.
The 9” is best used in deeper environments where you have to travel a lot of ground. It will allow the board to track better.
The Speed fin and the river fin would be for more shallow environments where clearance may not be as high. They are ideal for tighter river banks where you will need maneuverability more than tracking.
Like the rest of the Gili models, these fins snap in place using a snap-lock system. This is alright although I always hear complaints every once and a while about these snap lock systems. If they had a cord attached to the fins it would be a better system as then you wouldn’t be able to lose the fins. Similar to what iRocker thought of with the All Around 11 Ultra.
The Gili leash is a 10’ coiled leash that has neoprene padding on it to make sure it’s comfortable around your ankle. The leash also features 2 swivel bases on the ankle and on the lash tan to ensure that it does not get all tangled up.
These leashes are color-coded to whatever SUP color you choose.
Gili Meno 11’6” On-Water Performance
The Gili Meno 11’6” is all about stability and is rated as the most stable SUP in the Gili line-up. How does it do in the other on-water characteristics?
Gili Meno 11’6” Stability
At 35” the Gili Meno is crafted to be about as stable a platform as you can get with an all-around paddle board.
Bigger guys and gals would be best suited with the 11’6” Meno model as it will give them the most support. If you are a bit smaller in stature and don’t want to put as much effort into maneuvering the board then the 10’6” Meno would be ideal.
If you are a beginner paddler and budget is not too much of an issue then this is also a great board that will reduce your probability of falling in. Although in my opinion falling in is how you learn the limits of your board!
While the Meno’s 11’6” broader base does usually mean the board will be more draggy, the Meno has countered this by making the board hydrodynamic by making it a teardrop shape that tapers in towards the tail of the board as well as the nose.
It won’t be the best tracking board in the Gili lineup (as we mentioned before, that distinction goes to the 12’6” Meno touring SUP). But it gives you a 9” race fin and side fins that help the board track better.
In its class of bigger style SUPs, the Meno 11’6” can pick up some speed. Its 24 lb weight allows you to propel the board further than other SUPs in its class that may be heavier.
Like we said in the tracking section, this board is no speed demon and is not the best performing board in the Gili lineup for this category. You will feel a bit of the weight difference when you hop from the Air to the Meno 11’6”.
While the Meno 11’6” does have a hydrodynamic shape the 35” will create more drag compared to skinner Gili models like the Air, Mako, Adventure and Meno 12’6” series.
If you were having a tough time deciding between the Meno 11’6” and the Meno 10’6”. The maneuverability will be a prime factor.
As with any paddle board the longer it is and the better it tracks, but this hampers maneuverability in that you have more mass to swiftly turn around in the water.
The maneuverability of the board is made easier by the other fin options that you can choose with the board.
The 4.5” speed fin and the 3” river fin will make the board easier to turn as there’s less friction as water passes by these parts. If you really want the board to fishtail more you can always remove the side fins as well. Although this will greatly detract from the tracking ability of the board.
About Gili Sports
Gili is a paddle board brand that cares for its oceans and was born out of such passion. Gili founder Jay Regan was inspired by living in Bali and seeing all the damage local tourism brought to the beaches and the reefs. Gili donates a portion of every paddle board sale to ocean charities like Coral Reef Alliance and Save Our Turtles.
In the end of 2020 Gili sent a $10,000 check to these charities.
The Gili Meno 11’6”, along with all other Gili boards come with a 2-year warranty on their SUPs. This is about the range that most good SUP companies have their warranties. You have to go to the Gili website and file a warranty claim.
The warranty does not cover damages done from outside forces like punctures, overheating and boards used for commercial purposes.
Gili’s return period is 60 days which is one of the better ones in the industry.
What Customers Think
There were a ton of gleaming reviews about the Gili Meno 11’6” board. So much so that I couldn’t even find a bad review of it, even on 3rd party sites like Amazon!
Mind you, the Meno is not the most popular model in the Gili stable so the reviews on this board will not be as prominent as more popular models like the Gili Air Series.
Below we will recap some of the more interesting things said about the Meno 11’6” board.
“Very impressed with my Meno. It’s my first SUP and I’m quite please I’ve taken it out a few times now and love the stability. I do recommend the electric pump as it speeds up the inflation process. Couldn’t be more pumped for summer now that I have this bad boy.”Connor F (Gili Customer)
In terms of international orders April from Canada stated:
“A lot of research went into the purchase of the MENO 11’6!! No shipping issues, internationally!Showed up 5 days post order. Packaging was ample to protect it.”April (Canadian Gili Customer)
Where To Buy the Gili Meno 11’6” SUP
You can buy the Gili Meno 11’6” at Gillisports.com or on Amazon.
If you live outside of the USA, you can still purchase from the Gili website although taxes and duties may be incurred in which case you have to pay them.
“Before you do that, it’s always worth a check at your local Amazon website. Sometimes paddle manufacturers like Gili ships their boards to FBA centers in your country. In that case, you do not have to pay duty.”Editors Notes
Below are the following comparable competitor boards that I thought closely resembled Gili’s characteristics.
iRocker Blackfin XL
The iRocker Blackfin XL is a stability-oriented pick just like the Meno 11’6”. The main difference is the weight. The Blackfin XL weighs 29 lbs compared to the Meno 11’6” which is 25 lbs weight.
According to an inflatable paddle board owners group, users thought that the Blackfin series were the best SUPs.
This is not the most popular pick, but I think it’s worth mentioning. The Monterey has recently been tested by me and received great marks in a variety of on-water performance tasks including stability and tracking.
It has virtually the same dimensions as the Meno 11’6” except it has an extra bladder in the middle that helps with the rigidity of the board.
Should You Buy the Gili Meno 11’6”?
I believe that the Gili Meno is a great pick for those who:
- Are Beginners and budget is not too much of an issue
- Want a board that can be used for families/ multiple passengers
- Guys or gals who are bigger or taller in stature
- Paddlers who crave stability, especially in chop and waves
- People who may want to go on a SUP excursion
This SUP is not designed for speed and maneuverability, although when comparing boards with similar dimensions it does quite well in these tests.