The water’s calm, the sun’s shining, and you’re ready to give paddleboarding a try. But what kind of stand up paddle board should you get? For an all-around inflatable paddle board, the GILI 10’6 Air has been getting some good reviews; however, is it as good as people are saying? Or is it just another over-hyped paddle board?
Let’s find out — here’s our GILI 10’6 Air review.
- Size: 10’6″x31″x6″
- Volume: 225L
- Maximum Weight: 280 Pounds
- Board Weight: 19 Pounds
- Lightweight Board
- Fantastic Accessories Included
- Rear & Front Bungees
- Action Mounts
- Large Traction Pad
- Multiple Grab Handles
- 9 D-Rings
- Snap-In Fin Set
- Miltary-Grade PVC & Drop Stich Inner Core
- 2-Year Warranty
GILI 10’6 Air Overview
The GILI Air 10’6 adapts to all skill levels and different environments. A lightweight and stable board, it’s perfect for entry-level riders, children, and the average recreational paddler.
If you want to take the GILI sports Air to new levels, there are many customization options to enhance your experiences. Optional accessories can transform the GILI Air into a kayak, a fishing platform, or a floating yoga mat.
When purchasing a new paddle board, choosing the best SUP option can be overwhelming. It helps to know the styles and types of boards available to make an informed decision based on your needs.
That’s why we’re here!
We’ll review the GILI Air 10’6″ and help you to determine if it’s the right paddle board for you.
Things to consider before buying the GILI Air 10’6:
- First, you should consider the environment where you’ll be paddle boarding. Will you be in the open ocean or traversing calm lakes and rivers? Factoring in the chop of the water and location helps you target the style of board you need. You want your paddle board to perform and maneuver in your ideal environment.
- Do you plan to travel with your board? If so, you’ll need to consider how easy your paddle board is to launch and transport from one location to another. Do you have a truck or roof racks? Do you plan to fly on an airplane with your paddle board? Inflatable paddle boards tend to be preferred when traveling to new destinations with your paddle board in tow.
- What is your paddle board skill level? A beginning paddler should be looking for a lightweight, wide board for improved stability and ease of use. Advanced paddlers may be interested in racing, surfing, or long-distance touring. They will likely want a longer, streamlined board with a pointed nose.
- What is your acceptable price range? If you’re going to paddle board only a few times during the summer, you may not want to break the bank on a pricey board. If you plan to live on the water, you’re likely willing to splurge a little more.
We’ll consider all of these factors as we continue to review the 10’6 inflatable SUP.
Who Are GILI Sports?
The name alone is fascinating. GILI (pronounced gilē) was named after a small chain of islands east of Bali. GILI translates to “small island” in the local Indonesian language.
Jay Regan founded GILI Sports in 2017 out of his passion for the ocean and his love of diving and surfing. The California-born entrepreneur dedicated his time to build a company that sold paddle boards from their base in Las Vegas.
Within 18 months of opening, his company had grown to quite the success. Today, GILI Sports is regarded by many people as a frontrunner in the paddle boarding industry.
It’s hard not to be impressed with GILI and how far they have come in such a short space of time. All their inflatable stand up paddle boards are made with quality materials and are constructed with a keen eye for detail.
Today, they have 6 paddle boards available to buy and offer some fantastic accessories, gear, and expert advice via their popular blog.
You only have to look at the products, particularly the customer reviews to see how high they are respected in the industry.
What makes them stand out even further from the competition is the company’s mission.
A percentage of every SUP purchase helps to save our oceans! As you float in the sunshine, you can take pride in knowing you’re helping conserve our reefs, clean our beaches, and protect endangered sea life.
GILI Sports Air 10’6 Review: Skill Level
The GILI Sports Air 10’6 paddle board is ideal for beginner or intermediate paddlers, but it’s also perfect for seasoned paddle boarders looking to add a stable and stylish inflatable SUP to their collection.
It’s lightweight and easy to use yet durable. Ideally, this inflatable paddle board is best suited for lakes, rivers, ocean bays, and beach waters with minimal surf and wind, however, the GILI sports air can still maneuver well enough to take on water that has a little chop.
GILI Sports Air 10’6 Inflatable SUP Features
Below is a selection of the features for the SUP:
The GILI 10’6 Air comes with a tri-fin setup. The board comes equipped with removable snap-in side fins and a 9″ snap-in center race fin.
Snap-in fins affix to your board quickly without using any tools, and they’re a great option that won’t slow you down when you can’t wait to hit the water.
The presence of three fins provides a smooth, stable ride for beginners and amateurs. If you had fewer fins on your board, it would limit your paddling environment to flat, calm waters near the shore. Additional fins allow for better tracking ability for activities such as surfing.
The purpose of the Gili 10’6 air side fins is to bite into the water to improve maneuverability. Each of the two side fins are flexible and snap easily into place without needing tools. The fins flexibility improves your board’s durability, so it holds up to repetitive use and transport.
The center fin allows for better tracking, so you don’t slide all over the water’s surface. It installs and secures into place with a locking lever. It’s crafted from hard nylon and able to withstand most obstacles in the water.
In 2021, GILI redesigned its iSUP bag to include a special fin pocket to store and protect the fins.
The bag is included with the Gili 10’6 air package.
Extra-large Grooved Traction Deck Pad
A good gripping pad is essential to maintain control on your paddle board. The EVA foam deck pad spans most of the paddler’s base and stretches from the inflation valve to the front cargo area.
It provides plenty of space to move around on your board, while the grooved surface improves your grip to avoid slipping if a wave overcomes you.
The soft, padded surface provides comfort to avoid sore feet after a day on the water. The extra-large deck pad also provides a safer, spacious surface to bring along your dog or to do some yoga poses.
Rear Traction Area
The rear of this inflatable sup includes a diamond grooved traction area and four D-rings to attach bungees. You can remove the bungees if the extra storage space isn’t needed.
Load up your dry bag, cell phone cover, and various other inflatable sup accessories in this area if you wish. The textured surface makes it less likely that you’ll lose your gear in the water.
Front, Center, and Rear Grab Handles
The GILI 10’6 air includes front, and center grab handles, and in 2021, a bonus rear handle has been added. The lightweight of this inflatable sup means that young riders have little difficulty carrying the 19lb board.
The handles are secure and reliable as you transport your board from one location to another. You can use the front handles to drag your board in and out of the water. In contrast, the center handle is better situated to transport your board over longer distances.
The extra rear handle provides another grabbing point to transport your board.
Experienced paddle boarders appreciate many D-rings. The GILI sports Air 10’6 comes with a whopping 15 D-rings that increase compatibility with many accessories and can take your paddle boarding adventure to new levels. Many D-rings allow additional attachments for bungees, and you can use them to convert your SUP into a kayak with the addition of a detachable seat.
You can also attach your ankle leash to a D-ring for added security on your adventures.
If you don’t have the ability to store your gear, your SUP adventures may be limited. Some say that duct tape is an essential tool; we say it’s bungees.
The GILI 10’6 Air has both a front and rear bungee system with ample space to store your PFD, dry bag, and more.
GILI offers additional bungees to attach to any of the 15 D-rings when you need even more gear on board.
Front 6-Point Bungee System
The large 6-point bungee area provides ample space to secure your PFD, dry bag, or cooler.
Removable 4-point Rear Bungees
If your gear overflows the front cargo area, GILI has added a detachable rear bungee system to provide even more storage room. The rear bungees are removable if not needed.
With both a front and rear cargo area, and 15 available D-rings, you could pack enough gear to spend hours touring, fishing, or simply to spend a few hours out on the water doing whatever you please.
GILI offers many accessories such as dry bags and anchors that fit easily in the available cargo space. Load up your cooler, add an anchor to moor in your favorite fishing hole, or store your packed lunch to enjoy on the water — you’ve got the cargo room with this one.
Three Action Mounts
New in 2021, GILI added three action mounts to the GILI Air 10’6. The mounts provide the capability to attach your GoPro, fishing rod holder, cup holders, or other necessary items. The action mounts combined with the numerous D-rings making the GILI 10’6 Air adaptable to almost any journey.
Side Mounted Paddle Holder
A side-mounted paddle holder assures that you’ll never lose your paddle again. The paddle holder is a new addition to the GILI 10’6 Air inflatable SUP.
Gili10’6 Air Specs
|MODEL||GILI 10’6 Air|
|Money-Back Guarantee||60 Days|
The GILI Air weighs just 19 pounds, making it easily managed by an entry-level boarder or young paddler. Throw your GILI 10’6 Air in the included SUP backpack and sling it over your shoulders to transport your lightweight board too far away adventures.
The GILI sports Air is a 10’6″ long inflatable sup with a width of 31″. Paddle boards sized in the 10-12 feet range tend to be ideal for all-around paddling options and SUP yoga. The shorter the board, the easier it’s to maneuver.
Fully inflated, the 10’6 Air is 6 inches thick to give it an overall higher volume. A higher volume means it can handle a higher weight capacity.
You must consider your own weight (as well as your gear and the dog if you’re carrying one) when determining the best board to purchase. The GILI 10’6 Air is suitable to hold up to 280 pounds.
Choosing an inflatable stand up paddle board does not mean you sacrifice durability. In fact, inflatable paddle boards are considered more durable than hard boards.
The sturdy construction of the 10’6 Air makes it stable as well as durable. A single-layer of military-grade PVC is secured with a drop-stitched inner core; this gives the board its rigidity.
Fully inflated, the 10’6 is a firm and sturdy board, so you’ll never have to worry about a saggy center of your board with little support.
The GILI 10’6 Air is an inflatable SUP board at 10’6″ long. The planing hull has a rounded nose and flat, wide design to provide stability and ease of maneuverability as an entry-level board for young or novice riders.
The 6″ thickness provides the volume and stability to allow an increased weight capacity of 280 pounds and helps with balancing concerns.
The extra-large deck provides more space to stretch out on your board. The comfortable traction pad has plenty of room for your dog or fishing gear.
The lightweight design makes it easy to set up and carry the GILI Air 10’6 SUP board to your desired destination. The stand-up paddle board’s lightweight also makes it more manageable for longer journeys on the water.
The overall board design is also visually stunning. There are five color options, and the eye-catching imagery on the board is great. The turtle pictured on the underside reminds you that your purchase has played a role in ocean conservation.
GILI AIR Bundle Extras
The GILI Sports Air board comes with everything you need:
- 10’6″ iSUP board
- Travel paddle
- Snap-in center and side fins
- Dual-stage action pump
- 8′ coiled leash
- Travel backpack
- Free shipping!
GILI Air Warranty
GILI offers a 2-year warranty on the GILI 10’6 Air as well as a 60-day money-back guarantee.
GILI prides itself on excellent customer service and responds to all consumer’s concerns. The new 2021 additions to the GILI Air 10’6 are evidence of GILI listening to what paddle boarders want and need.
If you’re not happy, contact them. They will do everything in their power to make it right.
Gili Air 10’6 SUP Performance
The GILI 10’6 Air design helps it to perform well and adapt to various situations. The sleek shape makes the inflatable SUP easy-to-paddle and steers well on the water.
As mentioned above, the GILI Air is a great SUP for entry-level enthusiasts learning to paddle board, but it’s also perfect for experienced paddle boarders whose goal is simply enjoy themselves without the desire to race or surf.
The Air manages the best on flat waters, rivers, or lakes, and with a few hard strokes of your paddle, you can get it moving to a decent speed.
Choppy waters or a brisk breeze may make balancing trickier, but the wider board still makes the GILI Air manageable for most paddle boarders.
So how does the GILI Air maneuver through the water?
This inflatable paddle board is not exactly built for speed, but it makes multiple turns easier to manage. The board’s light weight makes calm water ideal for a daily cruise as you easily weave in and out of obstacles.
A breeze and choppy water can make maneuvering your 10’6″ board more of a challenge. You will work harder in rougher water, but it’s still possible.
This SUP is very stable, and this is what makes it ideal for new paddle boarders. The board’s wider width has a 6-inch thickness to give good volume and provides a stable base to maneuver in the water.
With such stability, the Air 10’6 allows you to make quick turns or even challenge other boarders to a light-hearted race.
The addition of the large traction pad helps your feet grip the surface to improve your overall stability.
With the tri-fin design, the GILI Air 10’6 can maintain a straight path with easy glide. The GILI Air’s nose is round and flat to stay above the tricky waves.
Since the GILI Air is a shorter board, your tracking and glide are not as good as they could be on a narrow, longboard, but it’s still a great ride.
The 9′ center snap-in fin helps the SUP to track while the two side fines maintain your trajectory in the water.
Versatility of The Gili 10’6 Air
The GILI Sports Air 10’6 paddle board is versatile. It could be easily utilized by paddle board users of any age or skill level. The lightweight design makes for easy transport to your favorite spot to float after a quick setup.
The board is easy to maneuver and stable with the tri-fin design. The GILI Air is ideal for calm waterways. Still, it easily rises to the challenge of a gently rolling ocean or a brisk summer wind.
Setting Up The GILI Air SUP
The setup of the GILI Air is so simple that even young paddle boarders can manage it with ease. After removing your gear from the GILI backpack, roll out your board and open the valve cap. Attach the inflation hose of your dual-action hand pump and get pumping.
The dual-action pump inflates the board on both the upstroke and downstroke, so you’re not wasting energy.
The board is ready to float in 5-7 minutes.
After pumping your board to 15 psi, secure your fins, attach your ankle leash and chart your journey on the water.
We have already touched on the included accessories, but let’s explore them a little more.
Aluminum 3-piece Adjustable Travel Paddle
The aluminum 3-piece travel paddle folds up for easy storage. The paddle adjusts from 64″ to 86″ to fit perfectly to your height. The paddle has an aluminum shaft with a nylon blade.
Aluminum paddles tend to be the heaviest paddles but also the least expensive. Aluminum paddles are great for beginners, and you can always upgrade to a carbon fiber paddle later on if you want a more advanced one.
The best news — the aluminum paddle floats! So, don’t worry about losing your paddle and getting stranded out in the middle of the water.
Dual-Action Hand Pump
The GILI inflatable hand pump has a dual-action feature to inflate on both the upstroke and downstroke. This means faster inflation with less expended energy to get you on the water faster.
The pump has a pressure gauge that begins to register at 10psi and can fill up to 15 psi. The end of the 40″ hose twists and locks into your board securely as you inflate your board.
When filled, untwist the hose and launch your board.
Inflatable SUP Backpack
The included SUP backpack for your inflatable GILI Air 10’6 allows safe storage with a compact bag for ease of transport. The GILI backpack fits all GILI paddle boards.
The backpack is made from heavy-duty nylon and comes with padded shoulder and waist straps which means comfortable towing.
The backpack has tons of room to store your leash, pump, repair kit, and travel paddle. Mesh pockets can hold your wet gear, and there’s even a pocket for your fins!
The compact backpack makes travel with your inflatable SUP easier — even on airplanes.
8′ Coiled SUP Leash
A coiled ankle leash is included with your GILI Air 10’6 package.
The coiled leash is 8′ in length but stretches to 5x its length with its tangle-free cord. The neoprene ankle cuff fits all ankle sizes.
It easily attaches to the many available D-rings to secure your ride. It prevents you from being separated from your board if you happen to fall off.
Snap-In Center Fin
The 9″ center fin easily snaps into position without the need for tools, and it prepares your SUP to adapt to many different conditions.
The center fin combines with the snap-in side fins for a smooth ride and better tracking ability. The curved design helps your board cruise over weeds or debris.
Store your center fin in the backpack’s fin pocket if it’s not needed in the calm shallow waters.
Repair Kit and Valve Wrench
In the rare case of a leak, the included repair kit can get you back on the water in no time. The repair kit includes PVC patches, adhesive glue, and a valve wrench. The valve wrench is used to tighten the valves and make sure they’re secure.
Optional Accessories From GILI
Not that your GILI Air 10’6 isn’t already stocked for the perfect day on the water, there’s so much more you can add to your iSUP for additional fun on the water.
If hand pumping wears you out, save your energy for paddling and consider the iSUP electric pump. Plug the 12v electric pump into your car’s cigarette lighter and pump to your desired psi.
You can convert your GILI Air into a kayak with the detachable paddle board and kayak seat. The seat easily attaches to the center D-rings to change from a standing to a sitting adventure.
Keep your cell phone in a waterproof case and keep extra clothes, hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses inside a dry bag. All accessories utilize any of the available D-rings and bungees for easy attachment and storage.
Gili 10’6 Air Price
The GILI Air 10’6 is available for $500 with free shipping. This is a great competitive price range for a beginner board.
You also get a 60-day money-back guarantee if you don’t love the GILI Air 10 “6 — so you can relax when purchasing.
GILI Sports also offers a 2-year warranty for the 10’6” Air. If anything goes wrong with it – return it to be fixed or replaced. GILI is known for its customer service and is very responsive to a buyer’s concerns and questions.
GILI’s newest additions of the rear grab handles, rear cargo system with detachable bungees, action mounts, a side paddle holder, extra D-rings, and a redesigned deck pad indicate that GILI listens to what paddlers want and will work to improve their boards to make everyone happy.
- The lightweight board is stable and easy to maneuver, which makes it perfect for beginning paddle boarders.
- The price tag can’t be beaten if you need a great starter board or want to add a versatile board to your SUP collection.
- With every purchase, you’re saving the oceans! Conservation of endangered sea life, coral reefs and preserving our waters is an additional incentive to buy a GILI 10’6 Air.
- Sleek and attractive design that is eye-catching and available in multiple colors.
- There are many fun and easily adaptable accessories to broaden your SUP adventures.
- A roomy backpack stores your iSUP, pump, and gear for easy transport.
- Tri-fin design for easier tracking and stability.
- Excellent package of included equipment with the bonus of free shipping and 2-year warranty.
- Being an inflatable paddle board, the GILI Air’s lighter weight makes maneuvering through very choppy waters or high winds more challenging.
- The aluminum paddle is not ideal but still suitable for beginning paddlers. When your skills improve, GILI Sports offers fiberglass or carbon fiber paddles for an upgrade.
What Are the Benefits of an Inflatable Paddle Board?
Why choose an inflatable SUP (iSUP) over a hard board? There are many answers to that question. Most of the time, an inflatable paddle board is the best option for most recreational paddlers.
The most important factor is that iSUPs are portable without transporting on roof racks (additional expense) or in a big truck. Most are packaged in a lightweight backpack to throw into your backseat or trunk so you can hit your destination with ease.
Inflatable SUPs can be cozy under your feet for a long float and provide a softer landing in the case of a fall.
Inflatable paddle boards take up minimal space for storage because they roll up and store easily when deflated. Despite your possible expectation, iSUPs are durable, rigid, tough, and able to withstand kids, dogs, a bayside tour, or an extended yoga routine.
Inflatable boards tend to be more durable than hard boards that can be dropped, chipped, broken, or fractured with an impact. You could drop your inflatable board from a decent height, and the military-grade PVC will protect it from damage.
Knowing how you want to use your SUP helps determine the type of board you need. Inflatable paddle boards are not entirely designed for speed but can be a great choice as an all-around SUP for the general paddler.
The inflatable board’s lighter weight might force you to work harder in rough water or on windy days. But Still, inflatable paddle boards tend to be cheaper than most hard boards.
The GILI Sports Air 10’6 inflatable paddle board is a great iSUP when looking for an all-around board.
Where Can I buy The GILI Air 10’6 Inflatable Paddle Board?
Hopefully, this GILI Air 10’6 review helped you make an informed decision on a new board purchase.
Ready to purchase a GILI Sports Air 10’6″ board? Click here!
Are There Any Alternatives to The GILI Air SUP?
If the GILI air is not ideal for your needs, GILI offers another great option for anyone looking for a versatile all-around iSUP — the 10’6″ GILI Komodo.
The Komodo has a slightly larger volume than the Air, given its additional width of 36″. Therefore, the Komodo can hold up to 340 pounds. While the increased width provides more stability, the Komodo’s nose is pointed, so you don’t lose speed.
The Komodo provides an EVA foam deck pad that extends from nose to tail. This makes it ideal for traveling with your dog or for enjoying some yoga. It’s also a lightweight inflatable paddle board weighing only 21 pounds to make for easy transport.
The GILI Komodo comes with the same starter package as the Air, including the SUP backpack, dual-action hand pump, ankle leash, snap-in center, and side fins.
It includes a slight upgrade to the 3-piece travel paddle when compared to the Air. With the Komodo travel paddle, you have the option of fiberglass or carbon fiber.
The GILI Komodo is crafted with Triple Layer Fusion construction to make it strong and durable while remaining lightweight. It also includes GILI’s 60-day guarantee and 2-year warranty with purchase.
GILI 10’6 Air Review: Final Verdict
The GILI 10’6 Air receives a rating of 9/10. There are no blaring issues, and the GILI 10’6 Air includes everything you need for an all-around relaxing day on the water.
If forced to be picky, it would be nice to upgrade the GILI 10’6 travel paddle to a fiberglass or carbon fiber option. The aluminum paddle works well for average paddling needs. Still, a better-quality paddle would be nice without requiring the expense of an upgrade.
The only other downfall is the limitations of your paddle board locations. It’s not ideal if you wish to paddle board in rougher waters or on a windy day, but this is not only a limitation of the GILI Air but almost any inflatable paddle board.
For most recreational SUP board needs, the GILI Air works great and is a fantastic paddle board for almost anyone.
Hopefully, our GILI 10’6 Air review guides your decision and helps you find the perfect paddle board to suit your needs.