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bradley axmith author

Christos Nicolaou
Divemaster & Paddler
Christos is a passionate diver, enthusiastic paddler
and amateur SUP racer

PRODUCT REVIEW

Gili Meno 12’6″ Touring Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

The Gili Meno 12’6” Touring inflatable paddle board is a relatively long board for a 31-inch SUP. That’s for speedier tracking that touring is good for.

But it has a good weight capacity, along with surprising stability.

This board is suited for almost anyone from beginners who’ve tried SUP boarding a couple of times to advanced paddlers.

The Gili Meno 12’6” comes with 4 action mounts, cargo areas at the front and rear of the board, side paddle holder, carbon fiber side rails, 3 center fin options, and 14 D-rings. And lots of handles.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Reasons to buy

  • Light and portable
  • One of the best at tracking straight
  • Lots of handles come in handy
  • Stable and sturdy
  • Smaller width for increased speed and efficient paddling
  • Removable bungees
  • Paddle holder for when board is inflated

Reasons NOT to buy

  • IVA trackpad could have deeper grooves for better grip

Review

  • DIVEIN.com Score: 4.5/5
  • Construction: 4.1/5
  • Stability: 4/5
  • Maneuverability: 3.8/5
  • Portability: 4/5
  • Price/Quality: 4.5/5

The Gili Meno 12’6” Touring inflatable paddle board is a relatively long board for a 31-inch SUP. But it has a high weight capacity, along with excellent stability.

This board is suited for almost anyone from beginners all the way to advanced paddle boarders. Its construction means it is very stable and rigid on the water, coming pretty close to a hard board.

The design of the Gili Meno 12’6” Touring iSUP makes for efficient paddling and speed, excellent for those looking to go on longer paddle board excursions.

Built for long paddle boarding adventures the Gili Meno 12’6” comes with 4action mounts, cargo areas at the front and rear of the board, side paddle holder, carbon fiber side rails, 3 center fin options, and 14 D-rings.

DIVEIN.com doing a test ride on the GILI Meno 12'6

Gili Meno 12’6″ Touring Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board: Key Specifications

  • Best Suited For: Beginners/Intermediate/Touring/Advanced
  • Material: Fusion Dual Layer Technology with Carbontech side rails
  • Volume: 265 l
  • Capacity: 300 lbs (up to 360 lbs for advanced riders)
  • Dimensions: 12’6” x 31” x 6”
  • Weight: 24 lbs
  • Recommended Inflation: 15-18 PSI

Where to Buy:

  • Amazon with worldwide shopping

Features

  • The most prominent feature of the Gili Meno 12’6” Touring iSUP is the weight capacity. This board is made to be extremely stable and sturdy on the water and can hold up to 360 lbs for more advanced paddle boarders. The recommended weight is 300 lbs.
  • A high quality, extra-long brushed EVA traction pad.
  • The board has a unique shape which is particularly narrow and long. This narrower width makes the board fast and ensures paddle strokes are energy efficient, allowing riders to go fast for longer. Tracking further distances and reducing the drag through the water.
  • As well as all the performance features the board has two removable bungee ties to hold down personal items (one at the front and one at the back of the board).
  • The Gili Meno 12’6” also comes with a full fin kit which includes a 9″ Race Fin, 4.5″ Speed Fin, and a 3″ River Fin.
A close look to some details on the GILI Meno 12'6

Accessories

The Gili Meno 12’6” Touring iSUP has lots of unique takes on the standard features and is made from high-quality materials differentiating it from other options on the market.

An added bonus of the Gili Meno 12’6” is the comprehensive package accessories which are included. In particular, the pump is one of the best. It’s the same one that comes with the Nixy Newport.

  • Paddle: The package includes a 3 piece adjustable hybrid carbon fibre TRP paddle. This paddle is strong and durable and great for long distance paddling. The paddle has a t-shape handle and can be separated into 3 pieces, excellent for travelling.
  • Leash: The Gili 8’ coiled leash is strong and durable. It is 7 mm thick and can stretch up to 5 times its length. The coil ensures it remains out of the water, avoiding any drag.
  • Pump: Included with the purchase of the board is the GILI 3-Stage High Flow Dual Chamber Hand Pump. This pump can inflate the board twice as fast, thanks to its dual chamber. With continuous pumping cycles in both upward and downward action it also makes it easier to inflate your board to 18 PSI. The pump also comes with a built-in gauge which indicates the board pressure (PSI). It’s a great pump! Better than most.
  • Backpack: Fitted with wheels as well as straps the new GILI Rolling Inflatable SUP Backpack (2021) is excellent for storing and travelling with your iSUP. The bag can fit all the equipment which comes with the board and leaves room for personal belongings.
  • Fin kit: The Gili Meno 12’6” comes with a full fin kit, including the Meno 9″ Distance/Race Fin, Meno 4.5″ Speed Center Fin, Meno 3″ Shallow Center Fin and 4″ Snap-In Side Fins. A variety of fins means that you can interchange to favour either speed or stability.
An overview to the GILI Meno 12'6

Stability

Despite its narrow width of only 31” the Gili Meno 12 ‘6” Touring iSUP is stable on the water. Rigidity is improved by the drop stitch, a fusion layer overlaid the carbon rails.

The variety of fins which are included with the board, especially the 3” river fin, ensures the board is stable on the water’s surface.

The Carbon fiber rail provides extra rigidity and performance and ensures the board is sturdy and stable. Paired with the use of Fusion Dual Layer Technology, the Gili Meno 12’6” is extremely rigid in the water, this adds to the stability of the board.

Maneuverability

It’s surprisingly maneuverable, thanks to the lightweight materials used in the construction of the board. With the flexible main fin attached especially. The use of Fusion Dual Layer Technology makes the board lightweight in the water (only 24 lbs), excellent for easy and more advanced maneuvers.

The length and width of the Gili Meno 12’6” favor speed over maneuverability. The narrower width makes each paddle stroke more efficient and it’s easy to control the direction of the board.

DIVEIN.com staff testing stability and maneuverability on GILI Meno 12'6

Portability

As an inflatable SUP board the Gili Meno 12’6” Touring iSUP is made to be portable and lightweight. At 24 lbs it’s reasonably lightweight.

The new 2021 model of the paddle board bag now has wheels, this makes it significantly easier to transport, especially for those who want to travel with their Gili Meno iSUP.

The combination of wheels and backpack strap makes it great for transporting over varied terrain. The durability and strength of the bag is also convenient for those who want to take their board on the road.

When inflated the board has 3 grab handles, one at the front, rear and center of the board making it easy to carry to the water’s surface. They don’t have neoprene wraps on them, like the Cruise Carbon 12 for example, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

Gili Touring Board SUP One of the best

The board also has a paddle holder adding to the facility of carrying all your equipment to the water. The bungee cord tie-downs at the front and rear of the board mean you can attach equipment easily and carry all your belongings in one go.

The materials used in construction are also very lightweight and mean that the board is light to carry.

Price/Quality Ratio

The Gili Meno 12’6” Touring iSUP is made of premium and high quality materials, all the materials sourced are as environmentally friendly as possible and this means that the board does come at a slightly more expensive price.

We like the option to choose a nylon blade (which is quite rugged for rivers), or a carbon blade (which is lighter). The nylon offers a slightly cheaper price.

The comprehensive kit with a variety of accessories and features makes this a very affordable paddle board package. The high quality features, materials and accessories ensure that you are fully equipped for paddle boarding touring adventures.

It’s a speedy SUP with a good paddle and one of the best pumps. We like this combination.

It is apparent when using the board that it is of high quality, as it’s very durable, sturdy and rigid on the water. For families, beginner to advanced paddle boarders this board is a good investment if looking for quality and durability.

Optional Accessories from Gili

  • Gili Action Camera GoPro Adapter
  • 12V Electric iSUP Paddle Board Pump
  • SUP to Kayak Conversion Kit
  • Fishing Rod Holder for Paddle Boards
A close look to the bag used to pack the GILI Meno 12'6

Summary

We strongly recommend this SUP board if you are looking for a fast, high capacity board which can be taken on long paddle boarding adventures.

The Gili Meno 12’6” Touring iSUP is recommended for all levels, especially beginner to intermediate paddle boarders who are looking for a touring board, and advanced paddle boarders looking for a fast touring iSUP.

It’s light enough to be easily transported and the shape permits for energy efficient paddles which provide great speed. The tracking and stability make this board excellent for carrying extra equipment and spending time on the paddle board.

See the complete list of the best Paddle Boards here!

What We Like

  • Light and portable
  • One of the best at tracking straight
  • Lots of handles come in handy
  • Stable and sturdy
  • Smaller width for increased speed and efficient paddling
  • Removable bungees
  • Paddle holder for when board is inflated

What We Don’t Like

  • IVA trackpad could have deeper grooves for better grip

Where to Buy:

  • Amazon with worldwide shopping

Where to Buy:

  • Amazon with worldwide shopping

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Gili Meno 12’6″ Touring Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    How long does it take to inflate the Gili Meno 12’6” Touring Inflatable SUP board?

    The Gili Meno 12’6” Touring Inflatable SUP Board can be inflated and deflated in about 10 minutes. With one of the best pumps that come with inflatable SUPs, getting ready to get out on the water as well as deflating and packing it in are made easy and convenient.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What pressure can the Gili Meno 12’6” Touring Inflatable SUP board be inflated to?

    The Gili Meno 12’6” Touring Inflatable SUP Board needs to be inflated to between 15 PSI and 18 PSI. Thanks to the great pump –an important and often overlooked accessory– this isn’t too much of a chore.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What does the Gili Meno 12’6” Touring Inflatable SUP board come with?

    The Gili Meno 12’6” Touring Inflatable SUP Board comes with a fin kit that includes 3 different main fins for rivers, recreational and touring sessions. It also includes a lightweight leash, 3 piece carbon fibre paddle, dual-chamber pump and travel backpack.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What weight can the Gili Meno 12’6” Touring Inflatable SUP board hold?

    The Gili Meno 12’6” Touring Inflatable SUP Board can support a weight of up to 300 pounds, and 360 pounds for more advanced paddle boarders.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    Is the Gili Meno 12’6” Touring Inflatable SUP board covered by warranty?

    The Gili Meno 12’6” Touring Inflatable SUP Board is covered by warranty for up to 2 years.

2 Comments

  1. Jaro

    Clarification please: Does Gili Meno 12’6 come with one or three fins. First you say three types of the main fin, later in the review it references 4″ snap-in side fins: “Fin kit: The Gili Meno 12’6” comes with a full fin kit, including the Meno 9″ Distance/Race Fin, Meno 4.5″ Speed Center Fin, Meno 3″ Shallow Center Fin and 4″ Snap-In Side Fins. A variety of fins means that you can interchange to favour either speed or stability.

    Thank you.

  2. Bradley Axmith

    Hi Jaro,
    There’s one fin box. You can only use one fin at a time based on where you’re paddling. We took a picture of the fins that you can see in the article, but I can assure that you can only use one. The Meno Adventure, an all rounder that we tested at the same time, has one primary and 2 small fins.

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