GILI Komodo Review
Cons: Pump requires assembly, difficult to manage in wind, cargo space decreases deck size
Manufacturer: GILI Sports
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|Price||$730 List||$699 List|
$524.25 at Amazon
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|Pros||Well designed, good glide and quick turns, plenty of storage||Affordable, lightweight, stable, maneuverable, easy to transport||Lightweight, affordable, playful design, includes a capable paddle||Lightweight, good all-around performance, excellent value||Inexpensive, easier to inflate than larger options|
|Cons||Pump requires assembly, difficult to manage in wind, cargo space decreases deck size||Attached side fins, leash sold separately, limited accessories||Not very fast, unstable in rougher water||Limited maneuverability, no dual cargo system||Slower and less stable, minimal cargo space, no front or back handles|
|Bottom Line||An easy to inflate board with plenty of storage that is quick and easy to maneuver||One of the best boards at a great price for paddlers who want to feel confident on flat water, chop or waves||A fun, lightweight board that provides an affordable way to get on the water||An affordable price tag and respectable performance highlight this fun and lightweight board||An affordable entry level board for families or lighter folks who are unsure of their commitment to the sport|
|Rating Categories||GILI Komodo||Bote Breeze Aero||ROC Inflatable SUP||FunWater 11||SereneLife Inflatable|
|Glide Performance (25%)|
|Ease of Transport (10%)|
|Ease of inflation (10%)|
|Specs||GILI Komodo||Bote Breeze Aero||ROC Inflatable SUP||FunWater 11||SereneLife Inflatable|
|Inflated Dimensions||10'6" x 33" x 6"||10'8" x 33" x 6"||10' x 32" x 6"||11' x 33" x 6"||10' x 30" x 6"|
|Weight (lbs)||21 lbs||20 lbs||17.8 lbs||18.9 lbs||25 lbs|
|Fin Configuration||2 snap-in side fins + 1 snap-in center fin||2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin||2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin||2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin||2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin|
|Folded Dimensions (inches)||34" x 15" x 10"||38" 18" x 12"||34" x 12" x 14"||34" x 16" x 7"||33" x 12" x 12"|
|Weight Capacity (lbs)||340 lbs||250 lbs||300 lbs||330 lbs||275 lbs|
|Bungee Cargo System||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Gili Komodo weighs just 21 pounds and packs perfectly into its fully adjustable bag. Inflating the board is easy and speedy using the dual-chamber pump. We like the full-length deck pad designed with a comfortable texture that's soft on your feet. The 9-inch center fin, removable side fins, and included paddle all assemble quickly and easily. There is also the option to add a kayak seat using the pre-mounted D-rings. Launching is made easy using the nose and tail handles. Storage space is created using bungees that attach to both the front and back of the board, and your paddle can be attached to the side using the Velcro loops.
Testing this board on Lake Tahoe allowed us to compare its performance as conditions gradually changed from calm to light wind, to boat and wind waves. The taller sidewalls create a feeling as though the paddler is sitting higher above the water than other boards. It felt stable in calm water, and a few boat waves were not an issue. In circumstances of increased motorized watercraft and winds, this board became less manageable. Since it is recommended for Yoga, we attempted some postures. Ultimately, we feel it isn't as stable as other boards we've tested.
Paddling this board is easy, and it has a smooth glide between strokes. It's not as streamlined as other touring boards but has a rockered design that allows it to smoothly cut the water with little drag. As far as inflatable boards go, we felt this one moved more smoothly than the others we tested. It was pleasurable to travel longer distances using this board. The overall shape helps it to track well, even for beginner paddlers. The 9-inch center and additional side fins contribute to a smoother glide for all paddlers.
Quick turns are made easy on the Gili Komodo. Maneuvering around buoys and beneath docks is easy on this board. Experienced paddlers turning by crossing the paddle across the bow were able to revolve the board quickly and remain balanced. Those turning by paddling from back to the front could turn with just three paddle strokes. It is easy to unweight the front and elevate it to avoid hazards like rocks or sticks.
Ease of Transport
The board and its included pack are thoughtfully designed for easy transport. The bag includes a storage pocket for the paddle, straps inside to hold the board in place, and multiple mesh pockets, tightening straps, and additional gear loops on the outside. You can dial in this pack by adjusting the side, shoulder, and hip strap to carry the 21-pound board with ease. Once inflated, the front and rear handles make launching the board easy. Velcro strops on the side of the board can be used to secure your paddle when not in use.
Ease of Inflation
The included pump is made of four separate pieces: body, feet, and two handles, and must be assembled before first use. Once built, the pump can be stored in the pack with the board and paddle. The dual-stage adjustment makes it easy to inflate when the board is close to capacity. We were able to fully inflate it in less than 10 minutes.
It's the small details that make the Gili Komodo stand out. Ease of inflation, transportation, and onboard functionality have been thought out in the design of this board. The mid-range price places it in the market for experienced paddlers who like calmer conditions, and need a more maneuverable board to avoid underwater hazards.
Quick inflation, ease of assembly, and great maneuverability make the Gili Komodo a worthwhile purchase for those who want to paddle in calmer conditions and have the convenience of onboard storage for everything from personal gear to the paddle.
— Jenay Aiksnoras
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