GILI Adventure 11′ SUP Review
The 2019 GILI Adventure is a great choice for those looking for a versatile all-around inflatable SUP that is worth the investment. Its gorgeous design and premium features have definitely caught our attention. GILI may be a new company but they are certainly making waves and we predict that we will see more of them if they keep producing boards as good as the 11’ Adventure.
- Gorgeous design
- Two colors to choose from
- Color coordinated leash and paddle
- Lightweight MSL dual-layer PVC material
- Excellent stability and rigidity
- Versatile all-around iSUP
- Easier to navigate than the company’s 10’6″ AIR
- Tool less fin system
- Brushed traction pad
- Dual bungee storage systems
- D-rings for attaching optional accessories
- Grab handles
- Lightweight carbon shaft paddle
- Upgraded travel backpack
- All necessary accessories are included
- Now includes extended 2-year warranty
- Not enough grab handles on the backpack
[ez-toc]Newcomers GILI Sports, founded by Jay Regan, appeared on the scene last year with the release of their first two SUP models. The 2019 release of their all-around SUP, The 11’ GILI Adventure, comes with a load of updated features that make it a huge upgrade from their 10’6” AIR.
GILI Sports is ready to show their worth through their expanding range of accessories and inflatable SUPs to add to their current collection; which features their first two boards.
Here we will review the 11’ GILI Adventure, from the design and build, the good and the bad to optional accessories. We will show you everything this all-around inflatable SUP has to offer, how it compares to the company’s 10’6” AIR plus give you access to a special offer from GILI Sports.
|11"||32"||6"||37 lbs||300 lbs|
One of the lightest weight iSUP boards we have seen, the GILI Adventure weighs a mere 19 pounds and is measured at 11′ x 32″ x 6″. This versatile all-around SUP moves more quickly across the water than the 10’6” AIR, which we previously reviewed. This is a great iSUP choice for those who don’t want to limit their options when it comes to using their board.
GILI Sports’ original board was only available in blue, and this year’s color options have grown to two, red and teal. Showing us that even though GILI is a new name, they are ready to gain loyalty from their customers by quickly delivering what they ask for. The release of the 2019 Adventure unveils even more color options with yellow/ grey and blue/gray color schemes.
Since their launch, GILI Sports has upgraded from the basic economy 10’6” AIR to the first class 11’ Adventure. The Adventure is full of enough premium features to qualify it to compete against some of the front runners in inflatable SUP boards.
The company started by capping both ends of the market before filling in the gaps, the 10’6” AIR is their basic all-around SUP that is just enough to get you out on the water without breaking the bank. The 11’ Adventure is for those who are willing to splurge to have everything they need and more in one premium package. We hope to see GILI eventually offer a complete range of iSUPs that anyone can afford no matter their budget.
Let’s go ahead and rip the bandage off, the original listing price of the Adventure was $749.95, but as of 3/13/19 GILI reduced the price to $645. The lower price tag stings a little less and also qualifies GILI to compete against other well-known premium budget iSUP brands.
Looking at the top deck of the Adventure we see a brushed EVA foam traction pad. The AIR has a diamond groove pattern while just as comfortable; the smoother surface of the brushed pattern on the Adventure makes it more attractive to those who enjoy SUP yoga and fitness. The brushed surface is softer under your hands and feet.
In the center of the board we find the carrying handle with an integrated neoprene cover. We would actually prefer to see either Velcro or removable covers. Having the option to remove the handle covers allows them to lie flat, and you can then hang them to dry before storing your board.
Located along the sides of the traction pad we see six D-rings which are super handy to have on an inflatable SUP. D-rings provide a place to attach add-on accessory kits and give you extra tie-down points for things like a SUP cooler.
On the nose of the board is the main bungee storage system for tying down your dry bag, extra gear or holding your paddle. The six point bungee system is attached with color coded D-rings that, again, serve multiple purposes. There is also the second grab handle at the nose for pulling your board in and out of the water.
Moving down to the tail of the Adventure we see the secondary bungee storage system. We love it when iSUPs come with two bungee storage areas, giving the paddler more room for securing their gear when carrying passengers like the kiddos or fur babies. Along the tail we can also see the board’s inflation valve, a D-ring for securing your leash and a third grab handle for added convenience.
Underneath the tail of the board is the tri-fin setup, GILI Sports modeled their tool less fin system after those being used by iROCKER and THURSO SURF. The center fin is the largest of the three and is also removable, as compared to the fixed side fins.
Design and Build
GILI chose a dual-layer MSL and PVC construction for the Adventure, resulting in a lighter board that is stiffer at lower pressures.
The Board in Action
Not only is the GILI Adventure extremely stable and easy to maneuver once you’re in the water, but it is a fun board to play on. The 32” width make it a great board to try out some SUP yoga on.
GILI Sports initial release of the 10’6” AIR featured a single fin system, which while great for navigating shallow waters, limits the all-around factor of the board. Luckily GILI Sports scrapped that design entirely and released the Adventure with a triple fin system as well as upgraded the AIR to the same tri-fin setup.
Thanks to its MSL construction the Adventure is extremely rigid when inflated to its optimal 15 PSI.
The Good and The Bad
For an all-around inflatable SUP, the 2019 GILI Adventure is a great fit. Everything from the cosmetics of the board to the construction has been done with careful attention to detail. The Adventure is loaded with premium features that everyone can afford.
GILI has so far shown their dedication to customer satisfaction by upgrading multiple features for just their second release. GILI changed manufacturing locations and added all of the features their customers asked for in the 2019 Adventure.
We see that GILI really learns by example, for an up and coming company their boards certainly impress. With such flashy features we wondered if there was anything to hide, and after a little investigating, we found that there really isn’t much that GILI is hiding. We have already mentioned our preference for removable handle covers, it’s not a make or break kind of detail but if we could choose, we would have gone with Velcro covers as their just more versatile.
Before we were able to make our next complaint, GILI had already solved the problem. Initially GILI only offered a one-year warranty and 60-day money back guarantee on their inflatable SUPs but as of January 2019, GILI increased their coverage to a two-year warranty on their entire SUP range.
GILI included everything you need to get out on the water in one good-looking package. The 11’ Adventure comes with:
- Travel backpack
- Lightweight travel paddle
- GRI dual-action pump
- 10’ Ankle leash
- Patch kit
GILI even updated their travel backpack for the 2019 release. The backpack is well-designed and roomy enough to carry all of your necessary gear.
On the front and sides of the backpack are cinch straps for compressing the bag down for travel and securing your gear in place. GILI quickly corrected their placement of the side straps which would get in the way on last year’s release.
One side of the backpack features a mesh storage pocket big enough to hold all of your paddle pieces or for carrying a water bottle or even yoga mat. Once your gear is in the pocket you can secure it with the adjustable side straps so you won’t lose any important pieces.
On the top of the bag is a clear luggage tag window. We would have loved a grab handle at the top for grabbing your bag from any direction. Additional grab handles make loading and unloading your bag from storage, easier. The bottom of the bag has four rubber feet for protecting your bag when it is upright and a metal drain for any water or dirt that made its way inside of your backpack.
GILI didn’t forget about convenience, they did place a grab handle towards the top of the bag, it just sits on the back panel. The two shoulder straps are padded for more comfortable periods of wear and the addition of a waist strap and sternum strap relieve the weight of the pack from your back and shoulders. To add even more to the comfort level of the backpack, the back panel is padded with a breathable mesh material.
In addition to the missing top carrying handle, we would also like side carrying handles as well as some wheels on the bottom for those times you just don’t feel like strapping your pack on.
Lightweight Carbon Fiber Paddle
The three-piece travel paddle is made from ultra-lightweight carbon fiber with a nylon paddle stamped with the GILI logo.
The paddle is adjustable to fit all heights of paddlers and couldn’t be easier to assemble. Simply slide the shaft pieces together and lock in place with the pin to prevent twisting. Attach the nylon blade with the locking lever which enables you to change the handle angle of your paddle.
If we’re really being picky here we would ask for a matte finish over the current high-gloss. We do love the enlarged grab handle on the end of the paddle for improved grip and performance.
GRI Dual-Action Pump
Included with your Adventure is a GRI manual pump. The pump itself features a unique dual-action design. Simply begin pumping with the plug in place, allowing air to go in with both up and down strokes. When the pressure builds, remove the plug and finish pumping your board to the recommended 15 PSI.
In addition to the flexible inflation hose, the pump has a built-in pressure gauge located in the center of the handlebar for monitoring PSI.
Keep your board securely attached to you with the 10’ coiled ankle leash. Designed with swivel joints and a tighter coil, this leash allows you to move about freely and won’t drag behind you in the water. On the comfortable neoprene cuff you will also find a hidden pocket for stashing your keys. We like that GILI color-coordinated their accessories to match the design of the board really streamlining the whole look.
Lastly, because accidents happen, GILI included an iSUP patch kit. Cleverly stored in an orange plastic canister you will find a valve wrench, and two PVC patches. You will need to purchase adhesive separately, but there is enough room in the canister to store it.
GILI already took care of their customers by upgrading all of their inflatable SUPs to a two-year warranty as well as a 60-day money back guarantee. As a bonus, all of the included accessories are covered by a 90-day money back guarantee, this is a lot more protection than other companies promise.
Where to Get One + Limited Offers
Get your hands on the 2019 GILI Adventure directly through the company’s official website. When you buy direct from GILI you get the best deals and free shipping and GILI even promises no sales tax (except for Wyoming, sorry guys).
*SPECIAL LIMITED TIME OFFER GILI has an excellent deal going right now. Start here to claim your special coupon code, find two of your favorite GILI SUP boards, add them to your cart and enter your special code at checkout. You will automatically receive a hefty $80 discount.