GILI 10’6″ AIR Paddle Board Review (2018)

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GILI Sports iSUP BoardThe GILI 10’6″ AIR inflatable paddle board is an incredibly affordable new model for 2018 that packs a ton of value and is a lot of fun to boot. This is a fantastic entry-level board with a versatile all-around design that is perfect for beginners through advanced paddlers.

GILI Sports is a new company on the SUP scene and the 10’6″ AIR is their very first model. While the company is just starting out, they’ve got a good track record as far as customer service goes and we’re looking forward to seeing the direction that this SUP startup takes going forward.GILI 10'6" AIR iSUP Side

In this GILI 10’6″ AIR review, we’ll cover all the bases. We’ll discuss this board’s pros and cons, features and construction, paddling performance, specs, what accessories are included, warranty coverage, and more.

In a Hurry? Here’s a Quick Summary…
ProsSuper affordable price point
Fun to paddle
Stable
Good stiffness
Lightweight
Carry handle cover can secure paddle
Convenient grab handle at nose
Toolless fin system
Great bundle of SUP accessories
Responsive customer support
ConsWarranty is only 1 year
Leash key pocket was sewn shut
Only one color option Now offered in three colors
Price & Where to Buy itCheck Price or Buy Now

GILI 10’6″ AIR Review: SUP Overview

Click Here to Buy the GILI 10’6″ AIR Inflatable SUP

Currently available in three colors (blue, red, and teal), the 2018 GILI Sports 10’6″ AIR inflatable SUP measures 10’6″ x 31″ x 6″ and it weighs in at a lightweight 19 pounds. This board has a nice all-around design and it’s capable of supporting up to 300 pounds of weight.GILI Sports iSUP Bottom

We honestly weren’t sure what to expect with this board as it’s a new company and the board is priced so affordably, but overall we were really impressed with this iSUP package and think it’s a great option if you’re looking for a cheaper board that offers outstanding versatility and value.

Features

GILI Sports 10'6" AIR TopThe top deck of the GILI AIR 10’6″ iSUP features a diamond pattern EVA foam traction pad that provides excellent grip and coverage. The traction pad extends all the way to the edges of the board and wraps slightly over the top of the rails.GILI SUP Traction Pad

Located at the middle of the board is a nice carrying handle that features a neoprene cover with an embroidered GILI logo and velcro closure. The cover can be opened up and used to securely hold your paddle, a feature that really comes in handy when you’re out on the water and want to secure your paddle while you swim, take photos, etc. The only thing that we’d change about the carrying handle is adding the ability to remove it, as this would make it possible for the handle to lay almost completely flat for activities like SUP fitness.GILI SUP Carry Handle

GILI Handle Paddle Holder

At the nose of the board are 6 stainless steel D-rings and a bungee cord storage area for stashing gear while you’re out on the water. There’s also a convenient grab handle for pulling the board in and out of the water.GILI AIR Bungee Storage Area

GILI 10'6" AIR Grab Handle

The tail of the GILI 10’6″ AIR features a Halkey Roberts-style inflation valve and another D-ring for attaching the included SUP leash.GILI AIR iSUP Tail

Located on the bottom of the board is a single fin. The fin is removable and features the same fin box and toolless lever lock system that iROCKER SUP and THURSO SURF are currently using.GILI AIR SUP Bottom

GILI Sports Lever Lock Fin

GILI AIR Removable Fin

Construction

The GILI AIR features an inner drop stitch core that is surrounded by two durable PVC layers. The board also has reinforced rails for added durability and stiffness.GILI 10'6" AIR Rail

Durability-wise, we expect this board to hold up pretty well — especially for an inflatable SUP in this price range. Overall rigidity is excellent, and we really like the fact that it weighs in at only 19 pounds.GILI 10'6" AIR SUP Rigidity

Paddling Performance

GILI’s 10’6″ AIR inflatable SUP is a lot of fun on the water and we love the overall versatility that this board offers. From SUP fitness to flatwater cruising to ocean paddling, there’s a lot you can do with this board.GILI Sports Inflatable Paddle Board

While not terrible, tracking performance could be improved by adding two small side fins to the current single fin setup. Stability-wise, the board is perfectly suitable for beginners and the board feels very rigid under the feet when fully inflated to the recommended pressure of 15 PSI.10'6" GILI Sports Inflatable Paddle Board

In the speed department, the GILI AIR is obviously not the fastest board in the water. This board was designed for stability and all-around use, so it’s important to keep that in mind.GILI AIR iSUP

GILI 10'6" AIR Rating
  • Durability
  • Features
  • Versatility
  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Portability
  • Warranty
  • Customer Support
  • Price
4.5
Sending
User Rating 4 (1 vote)

Specs

Length10'6"
Width31"
Thickness6"
Weight19 pounds
Max Capacity300 pounds
Price

What’s Included

GILI Sports SUP Accessory BundleIncluded with the new GILI AIR inflatable paddle board is everything that you need to start paddling. In the box is a nice SUP backpack, dual-action pump, 3-piece aluminum shaft paddle, coiled leash, and repair kit.

GILI Inflatable SUP Travel Backpack

GILI Sports SUP BackpackThe included backpack is an attractive bag that’s much nicer than what you normally see in this price range. The outside of the bag features multiple compression straps for cinching the bag up after it’s packed, a see-through luggage ID window up top, and a mesh storage pocket on the side of the bag which can be used to hold the included paddle.GILI Travel Backpack

GILI Bag Mesh Pocket

GILI Sports Bag Luggage ID Window

On the back of the bag are two comfortably padded shoulder straps. The shoulder straps are fully adjustable and feature plastic D-rings for attaching small accessories with a carabiner. Also sewn into the shoulder straps is an adjustable sternum strap which is helpful for stabilizing the bag when it’s packed and on your shoulders.GILI Backpack Back

GILI Backpack Straps

The back of the bag has a nicely padded cushion that improves overall comfort, and there’s also a padded waist belt that adds even more stability.GILI Sports Padded Backpack Cushion

The interior of GILI’s SUP backpack is very basic, and there are no additional storage pockets or compression straps.GILI Backpack Open

While we really like this iSUP travel backpack, there is one minor thing that we’d change about it. The compression straps lack plastic quick release buckles which means that you need to feed the straps through the adjusters whenever you want to use the compression straps. Not a huge deal — but it’s a slight inconvenience that could easily be improved upon with the addition of a few plastic buckles.

Dual-Action Pump

GILI Sports SUP PumpAlso included with the GILI 10’6″ AIR is a dual-action BRAVO iSUP pump. This is a solid pump that features two inflation modes:

  1. Dual-Action: This setting will rapidly add air to your board on both the up and down strokes and it’s the mode that you’ll initially use as you begin to inflate your board. To enable the dual-action mode, simply screw in the red plastic plug.
  2. Single-Action: Once you find that the inflation process is beginning to get difficult in dual-action mode, just remove the red plug from the pump to activate single-action mode. In this setting, the pump will only add air to your board on the down strokes, making it much easier to pump the board up to the recommended pressure of 15 PSI.

GILI Sports Pump Pressure GaugeThe included pump comes with a flexible inflation hose as well as a built-in pressure gauge. The easy-to-read pressure gauge is integrated into the top of the pump handle and it lets you know exactly how much air is in your board at all times during the inflation process.

3-Piece Aluminum Travel Paddle

GILI Sports SUP PaddleIn the box, you’ll also find a black aluminum SUP paddle. This 3-piece travel paddle has a solid design with locking pins at both the top and bottom sections of the shaft.

The tough nylon blade is color-coded with the board and branded with the GILI logo.

Coiled SUP Leash

GILI Sports Coiled SUP LeashWe love the fact that GILI Sports promotes paddling safety by throwing in a 7mm color-coded 10′ coiled SUP leash. This is a nice leash that has a comfortable neoprene ankle cuff, secure velcro closures, and a hidden key storage pocket. The leash also has stainless steel swivels at each end to prevent tangles.

We did notice that the hidden key storage pocket on our leash was actually sewn shut by the factory, so that’s a minor manufacturing issue that GILI needs to address.

Repair Kit

GILI iSUP Repair KitThe included iSUP repair kit is housed in a plastic high-visibility orange container and includes two generously-sized PVC patches, a valve wrench, and some adhesive. The glue was a nice surprise as it’s something which isn’t typically included.

Warranty

GILI 10'6" AIR Inflatable Paddle BoardGILI Sports backs their 10’6″ AIR with a 1-year warranty which covers manufacturing defects. They also throw in a 60-day money back guarantee, but returns are subject to a 20% restocking fee. All items included in the SUP accessory bundle are covered for 90 days.

Where to Buy it

The 2018 GILI 10’6″ AIR is in stock and ready to ship at Amazon. Amazon has a fantastic reputation for providing outstanding customer service, and their fast, free shipping means you’ll have the board in no time.

Likes and Dislikes

Paddling GILI Inflatable SUPOverall, we were really impressed by the first model from this new company. The 10’6″ GILI AIR offers a tremendous amount of value and is a perfect board for beginners and anyone who has a tight budget.

While totally subjective, we really like the looks of this board. The blue color scheme is very attractive, and the branding is all tastefully done. For 2019, the company has also released their brand new 11′ GILI Adventure model which looks even better.GILI Sports Inflatable SUP Model

We also like the fact that a grab handle has been added to the board’s nose as this really comes in handy whenever you’re pulling the board in and out of the water.

As far as performance goes, this board is a lot of fun. It paddles well and feels very stiff under the feet. Tracking performance is acceptable, but we’d love to see two small side fins added in the future.

Lastly, we really love the fact that the company includes everything you need to start paddling (with the exception of a PFD, of course). Additionally, the quality of the accessories is good — especially considering the fact that this board is priced so affordably.GILI Sports All-Around SUP

As far as dislikes go, we really only have a few minor complaints. First of all, it would be great if the warranty coverage were a bit longer (2 years would be great). Also, while it’s great that the company gives you a 60-day money back guarantee, it’s not so great that they charge a 20% restocking fee. We’d love to see these the terms of the warranty and money back guarantee tweaked in the future, but given the super low price point of this board, it’s understandable.

Secondly, while we really like the carrying handle mid-board, it would be nice if the neoprene cover could be completely removed for activities like SUP fitness where a lay-flat handle is ideal.GILI Velcro Carrying Handle Cover

Another small improvement that could be made is increasing the size of the D-rings used at the nose for the bungee cord storage area. The current D-rings are a bit on the small size, and slightly larger ones would make it easier to secure gear with hooks and clips.GILI AIR SUP Bungee Storage

Last but not least, as we mentioned previously, we’d add quick release buckles to the backpack’s external compression straps. This would allow you to conveniently open the bag up without having to completely undo the compression straps. A very minor gripe, but something we wanted to mention.

Final Thoughts

SUP industry newcomer GILI Sports has done a great job of packing value into their fun new 10’6″ AIR package, making this a fantastic budget-priced board that’s ideal for first-time paddlers. Once again,we really like the fact that everything you need to start paddling is right there in the box, and the all-around design is well-suited to a variety of paddling activities and conditions.

Bottom line — if you’re a beginner or are simply looking for an inexpensive inflatable SUP that won’t break the bank, the new GILI 10’6″ AIR is a great option.

Click Here to Buy the GILI 10’6″ AIR

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