Gili Sports 10’6″ Meno Review | 2022

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Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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At 35” wide, the 10’6” Meno offers excellent stability and carrying capacity.

Gili Sports 10’6” Meno: Overview

The Gili Sports 10’6″ Meno iSUP is an extra-stable, high weight-capacity, premium construction, all-around paddleboard. The shorter length compared to the 11’6” version makes it easier to turn and more manageable for smaller paddlers who still want all the benefits of an extra-wide board. If you are a beginner paddler looking for a super-stable first board, an experienced paddler looking for fun on some splashy rivers, or on the hunt for a maneuverable fishing platform, the 10’6” Meno is right up your alley.

— Gili Sports 10’6” Meno Summary Ratings and Review —

Gili Sports 10’6” Meno
  • Construction & Durability
  • Features and Versatility
  • Paddle
  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Maneuverability
  • Tracking
  • Warranty & Customer Support
  • Value
4.6

Overall Score

The 10’6” Meno is a high-quality extra-wide paddleboard that offers maximum stability and nimble paddling.

Pros

  • Very stable
  • Carbon fiber rails
  • Highly maneuverable
  • Ample storage space
  • Removable handles and bungees
  • Diamond textured tail pad
  • Includes several fin options
  • High weight capacity
  • Great for paddling with dogs and kids
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • Paddle feels unbalanced and large
  • Difficult to track straight

Construction and Durability

Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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Carbon Tech rail reinforcements add stiffness and abrasion resistance.
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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At 15psi the 10’6” Meno performed just above average in our bend test, but performs near the top of the class when inflated to the maximum 18psi.

The Meno series by Gili Sports is their performance line of inflatable paddleboards. They come in three different sizes (12’6” x 31”, 11’6” x 35”, and 10’6” x 35”) but all use the same construction techniques and materials.

Starting with a dual-layer fusion PVC shell, the 10’6” Meno is then wrapped in with a dual-layer PVC rail around the board’s sides, and incorporates a carbon fiber fabric third layer on the middle section of the rails. Lastly, there is an extra layer of seam reinforcement tape on the top and bottom of the rails. The inclusion of the carbon fiber rail and the fusion materials help the 10’6” Meno stay incredibly stiff and durable on the water.

Our bend test always starts with a baseline test at 15psi. Once weighted, the 10’6” Meno’s deflection is just a little better than average. However, when inflated to 18psi, it became one of the top-performing boards we’ve tested.

Having a stiffer board on the water translates to better responsiveness to acceleration and turning, but also better stability. Your stabilizing muscles in your legs don’t have to work quite as hard on a stiff paddleboard as they do on a less-stiff board. Sometimes, when an iSUP is made to be incredibly stiff, it can create a very tight, springy feel that can be counterproductive to stability when walking on the board or dealing with choppy conditions. Not so with the Meno. When bouncing the board up and down it not only resisted flexing, but also had a soft and forgiving reverberation.

With modern PVC boards, durability of the material itself is not an issue. Very rarely when a board fails (which itself is rare for any high-quality board) it is almost always at a seam. The extra layers of material on the rails and the use of seam reinforcement tape will help ensure a strong bond between the layers to keep the 10’6” Meno on the water for many years.
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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While on the water the 10’6” Meno exhibits minimal flex with a soft, forgiving, reverberation.

Specifications

Dimensions
Length10’ 6”
Width35“
Thickness6“
Weight
Max Capacity450 pounds
Board Weight23 pounds
Kit Weight
(SUP & accessories)
36 pounds
Buying Info
List Price$900.00
Warranty2 years
Returns period60 days

Features, Accessories and Versatility

Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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The 10’6” Meno is decked out for just about every paddling use.
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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10’6” long, 35” wide, 6” thick, and has a 450lb weight capacity.
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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The nose of the board has a large cargo storage area, removable passenger handles, and three threaded mounting points.
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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The tail features another cargo area with removable bungee and passenger handles
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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The main deck pad is a soft, brushed EVA foam with cut outs for added grip.
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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The middle of the board features kayak seat and carry strap compatible d-rings and velcro paddle holders.
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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The tail section of the deckpad switches to a diamond groove pad for increased traction.
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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Threaded mounting points on the front and rear of the board are compatible with action cameras, fishing rod holders, speakers, and more.

The 10’6” Meno is incredibly versatile thanks to its size and the multitude of built-in features and accessories.

Let’s start with the size. At 35” wide, the 10’6” Meno is incredibly stable for paddlers of all shapes and sizes and for all activities. Whether you are cruising around the bay, fishing your local lakes, or taking it on the river it’s easy to stand up and stay up. With a moderate length of 10’6”, this iteration of the Meno series is easier to turn, but does have a little bit of difficulty tracking straight (more on that below). However, this does make it very nimble for river paddlers. I recently took the 10’6” Meno for some Class II Whitewater paddling and had a blast. It was easy to handle on the river, and the included stubby fins kept me from getting caught up in the rocks. The extra width also drastically increases the carrying capacity compared to a more traditional 10’6” iSUP. The 10’6” Meno is rated for 450lb – more than enough for cruising with kids or dogs, a day of fishing, or a week of camping.

On the board itself there are two cargo areas. The front cargo area is very large and also features three threaded mounting points. The closer ones are great for fishing rod holders or action cameras where you may need to reach them frequently, and the front mount – all the way up on the nose – is perfect for speakers or other accessories that you can set and forget for the day. Both cargo areas also feature passenger grab handles. These neoprene-wrapped handles are also removable.

The deck itself sports a vibrant and active design scheme printed on the PVC shell. It can look a little busy in photos, but in person isn’t overly distracting. The main area of the deck pad is a brushed EVA foam that is on the softer side of deck pads. There are grooves cut into the foam that help with grip and to channel water off the standing surface. As you move to the rear of the board, though, the deck pad changes to a diamond-groove texture. This section provides even more traction, and a nice tactile indication of how far back you are on the board without needing to look. The extra traction is welcome for anyone who not only likes to pivot-turn their board on flatwater, but also gives a high degree of confidence and control in a surf or staggered stance in choppy or whitewater conditions.

Between the main standing area and the rear tail pad are two more integrated threaded mounts that are within easy reach while paddling, but stay out of the way when walking to or from the tail. Each side also has d-rings for additional tie down points, kayak seat attachments, and/or a shoulder-carrying strap. Lastly, a velcro paddle holder on the right side of the board gives you a secure location to keep your paddle out of the way, but nearby, for yoga, fishing, or just laying down and enjoying your time on the water!
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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The 10’6” Meno comes packed in a wheeled carrying backpack and can hold all of your paddling accessories with room to spare.
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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The HighFlow hand pump has two chambers and three stages for fast, efficient pumping.

The wheeled carrying bag for the 10’6” Meno is a medium-weight nylon bag with a comfortable backpack harness. There are several zippered pockets on the outside, including two large mesh pockets on the front – one of which is labeled “fin pocket.” This pocket does indeed easily fit the included fins, however I have found that the mesh is not very durable and easily catches and tears. I prefer to keep the fins in the middle, nylon, zippered pocket.

The six compression straps tighten everything down for easy transportation, even when fully loaded.

I admit, Inflating an iSUP is always the least-exciting part of heading out to the water. The triple-action HighFlow hand pump does a good job of keeping this task to a minimum amount of time, but I always do recommend an electric pump. The convenience is absolutely worth it.
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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The 10’6” Meno comes as a complete kit with everything you see here, plus two more center fins – 4.5” and 3” lengths.

Paddle

Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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The nylon blade is very large and somewhat heavy lending itself to slow cadence paddlers.
Gili Sports 11'6
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The carbon fiber shaft and handle provide a good balance of weight and flex, but may actually be too light to fully balance the large blade.

Finding the perfect paddle for an individual person can be quite the task, so it’s no surprise that there will always be trade-offs when it comes to paddles that are included with a paddleboard as a kit.

The Gili Sports Carbon Fiber/Nylon paddle that is included with the 10’6” Meno definitely has some trade offs. The carbon fiber shaft is lightweight and is relatively stiff, but still with some flex. The molded handle is comfortable to hold and the adjustable handle section is scaled for easy adjustment from day to day and paddler to paddler.

The nylon paddle blade is where I find some issues with this paddle. The first thing that anyone will notice is that it is a very large blade. Large paddle blades can be difficult for smaller paddlers to use at all, and encourage very slow, long paddle strokes for all paddlers. With this much surface area I do find my shoulders tire out much more quickly than with smaller paddle blades.

The other aspect of having a large blade is that it is heavy. Gili Sports uses essentially the same paddle blade across all of their paddles whether they have an aluminum shaft, fiberglass shaft, or carbon fiber shaft. Because the carbon fiber shaft is significantly lighter in weight, the paddle becomes unbalanced. In an ideal world, the balance point of your paddle would be where you grip with your lower hand. This would make the paddle blade feel nearly weightless as you move it around. As the balance point drifts towards the blade, the perceived weight of the blade becomes heavier and heavier. In this case the balance point is far enough down toward the blade I find it to be awkward and a little uncomfortable to use to the point where I actually prefer the fiberglass version of this paddle. Even though the fiberglass version weighs more, it is better balanced.

That does bring me to the carbon fiber blade available as an upgrade when purchasing the 10’6” Meno. At the time of this writing it is a $55 upgrade, however compared to the cost of purchasing an entirely new paddle, this is a great deal. The weight of the blade comes down about 2 ounces with the carbon fiber blade. While this doesn’t seem like much, it is enough to shift that balance point back up toward your hand and make the paddle more comfortable to use.

Stability

Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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It doesn’t get much more stable than the 10’6” Meno thanks to its 35” width.

The 10’6” Meno is incredibly stable. The 35” width is very forgiving for beginners, but also helps keep the board performing as designed when loaded up with passengers, equipment, or both.

While standing and paddling, the dual-layer fusion PVC and carbon fiber rails keep the board incredibly stiff. I could only feel a slight amount of bounce when really pushing the board during sprinting, but it had a pleasant reverberation, rather than a springy feel that can sometimes throw you off balance.

The extra width is greatly appreciated when paddling on fast moving water and when crossing lines of current in rivers. The 10’6” Meno is also easy to hold on its rail to aid in carving turns or adjusting the tracking.

By adding a diamond groove texture on the tail of the board, the 10’6” Meno becomes very easy to control from the tail. This is great for pivot turns (below) or adjusting the trim going up and over waves (or even light surfing). I do still wish it had an elevated kick pad on the tail for even more control, though.

Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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The diamond groove tail pad gives extra traction and confidence when standing on the tail.

Speed

Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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The 10’6” Meno accelerates well, but has a low top-speed.

While the 35” width really boosts the 10’6” Meno’s stability, it’s also a real drag on its speed. Get it? Drag? Friction? Eh, it was worth a shot. While the top-end speed of the 10’6” Meno wasn’t anything to write home about, it does accelerate quickly thanks to its stiff construction and large paddle blade.

The 10’6” Meno does cruise around at a comfortable pace, but does leave room for improvement. At nearly 6 minutes for a quarter mile lap, this is not a board I am going to choose for a long-distance paddle. However for paddling around smaller bodies of water, or packing for a river trip, the 10’6” Meno is still a good choice.

Maneuverability and Tracking

Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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Turning is quick and easy no matter how you choose to do it with the 10’6” Meno.

The 10’6” Meno is very maneuverable. Our maneuverability test has us turning circles using forward sweep strokes – which is one of the slower ways to turn an iSUP, but you can still swing the 10’6” Meno a full 360° very quickly with just under 6 strokes. If you use a reverse sweep, bow draw, or any other number of ways to turn around, you’ll find the 10’6” Meno reacts even faster.

Maneuverability like this is great for fishing and river running where you’ll want to be able to quickly change orientation. For general cruising and leisure paddling the 10’6” Meno is easy to handle without spinning completely with every stroke.

Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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Proper technique is key to tracking with the 10’6” Meno.

While maneuvering is easy, tracking the board straight does take some effort. Even when using the touring-style center fin and both side fins, the 10’6” Meno is still quite easy to turn.

When cruising on the 10’6” Meno, or any extra-wide SUP, it’s important to keep your paddle vertical. It’s very easy to let your form drop and angle the blade away from the side of the board, causing it to turn instead of move straight. This is especially noticeable when paddling quickly.
Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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Three fin boxes and 5 included fins provide lots of opportunity to customize your tracking and maneuverability.
Most users will likely stick with the longer 9”, touring style, center fin and two 4.5” side fins while out on lakes, bays, oceans, or large rivers. However you do have other options included with the 10’6” Meno. The 4.5” and 3” center fins will increase maneuverability (as will removing the side fins) and also let you more easily paddle in shallow water. Not including “no fins”, there are six different setups you can pick from to customize your tracking and maneuverability performance, right out of the box.

Warranty and Customer Support

Gili Sports warranties their inflatable paddleboards against manufacturing defects for two years. They also warranty their paddle accessories (like paddles and leashes) for 90 days, and their bags for 1 year. If the 10’6” Meno iSUP sounds like the right board for you, but you just aren’t quite sure, Gili Sports also has a 60-day no-questions-asked return window, however the buyer is responsible for shipping charges and a 20% restocking fee. If you have any questions you can contact Gili Sports directly through their online form, social media, email or telephone customer support team.

Value

We look at more than the price of a paddleboard when evaluating whether or not a product offers a good value. After considering the 10’6” Meno’s construction, performance, accessories, warranty, regular price, upgrade price, sales, and much more, we think the 10’6” Meno offers a good value at its current price at the time of this writing. If you are looking for a wide all-around board that is super stable and built to last, the Gili Sports 10’6” Meno is an excellent choice.

Overall Impressions/Review Summary

Gili Sports 10'6  Meno Review  2022
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Stable and Maneuverable are the defining features of the 10’6” Meno iSUP.

The 10’6” Meno iSUP offers a lot of variety for paddlers looking for a super-stable board. It’s decked out for paddling with passengers, ready for fishing trips, and even handles well in some light whitewater rivers thanks to its extra-stable platform. The shorter length does reduce its tracking performance, but it is easily manageable on the water for smaller paddlers. Personally I prefer the extra length of the 11’6” Meno for most paddling, but do like the shorter 10’6” Meno for playing around on the river.

Gili Sports 10’6” Meno iSUP FAQ

What’s the Difference between the 10’6” Meno and 11’6” Meno?

Both the 10’6” and 11’6” Meno are 35” wide and 6” thick. The shorter length of the 10’6” makes it more maneuverable, but harder to paddle straight. The 11’6” Meno also has integrated Scotty Mounts for a fishing rack, but the 10’6” does not.

Can I take kids or dogs on the 10’6” Meno?

Absolutely! The 35” width makes an incredibly stable platform for kids and dogs to ride along. Passengers with opposable thumbs will also like the removable handles on the front and rear cargo areas!

Can I use a kayak seat with the 10’6” Meno?

Yes. Gili Sports makes a kayak seat and paddle conversion kit that is compatible with the 10’6” Meno (and their other iSUPs as well).

How long does it take to inflate the 10’6” Meno and what PSI should I use?

It takes about 10 minutes to inflate the 10’6” Meno to the recommended 15psi using the included Hand Pump. You can inflate the 10’6” Meno to 18psi for additional stiffness when paddling with passengers or extra cargo.

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