360 by Francesco Sommacal



Designer Francesco Sommacal has been awarded the Red Dot: luminary design award for his sports equipment that replicates the sensation of snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding.


The 360 consists of two wheels connected by a flexible shaft. The user puts their feet inside the wheels and controls the direction of travel using body movements, as with board sports. The distance between wheels and slant can be adjusted to fit.


The following text is from Francesco Sommacal:


Francesco Sommacal wins the red dot: luminary design award in Singapore

Francesco Sommacal, a graduate of the Faculty of Design and Art at the Free University of Bozen - Bolzano, received the prestigious red dot: luminary design award in Singapore on 28th November. He submitted his “360” project in the design concept category.360byfrancescofrancesco-sommacal_360-acti.jpg

The 360 replicates the sensation of snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding. Riders place their feet into the inner parts of both wheels, which puts them in a natural position to shred roads, grass or dirt hills.


The 360 is a piece of equipment that is suitable for everyone who likes sports connected with passion, freedom, energy, craziness and action. Its inspiration was found in adrenaline and action sports such as surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding.


Using the 360 is simple and intuitive. With easy body movements, the user is able to direct it and ride it on different surfaces, such as the road, grassland or earth. The 360 consists of two orbital wheels that are connected by a flexible shaft. The rider places their feet into the inner part of the wheel – a natural position for experiencing the feeling of snowboarding, surfing or skateboarding. The 360 can easily be adapted to the physical characteristics of each rider, with both the distance between the two wheels and the slant of the step being adjustable.
The 360 can be used in two ways: “free-ride” and “freestyle”. On one hand, it can be ridden downhill as it is equipped with a system to regulate speed. On the other hand, it can be used to perform tricks and figures. Imagination is the only limit!

The “360” is a re-definition of the extreme sport of skateboarding. Riding diagonal to the direction of travel over asphalt, stones or grass, the user can – like on a snowboard – steer by shifting his or her body weight. The versatility of this “summer snowboard” means that boarders everywhere can now enjoy an extra season’s fun.

Francesco Sommacal, a graduate of the Faculty of Design and Art at the Free University of Bozen - Bolzano, received the prestigious red dot: luminary design award in Singapore on 28th November. He submitted his “360” project in the design concept category.

With over 10,000 submissions from a total of 60 countries, the red dot design award ranks among the largest and most renowned design competitions in the world, and is the biggest design award in Germany. The competition was organized by the North Rhine-Westphalia Design Centre.

The red dot award is presented to works that feature outstanding design quality. The jury consists of well-known designers and design experts from around the world who rate the products according to such criteria as innovation, functionality, form and ergonomics, as well as their symbolic and emotional content.

The design concept category is open to projects that have not yet reached the production stage. Of this year’s 1,906 young designers taking part, 170 received the red dot award for outstanding design quality, while another 21 received the red dot: best of the best distinction for highest design quality.

These winners are automatically nominated for the competition’s premium award – the red dot: luminary. This year, the “360” project from Francesco Sommacal won the unanimous approval of the jury.

Posted on Monday December 15th 2008 at 7:20 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • K. Rimane

    this is OLD news!

  • clay

    very cool design and concept; however, after watching 360 in use… it seems boring compared to all of the other activities it is intended to replicate.

  • This looks so incredible, I´d love to ride on a 360!!!

  • As a skateboarder turned surfer, I have always been very sceptical of these creations. Looks daft to me.

  • Bozo

    Looks like it could take your shins off.

  • xpez

    looks like it will do a number on your ankles when you bail.

    looks like the segway’s mutant baby…

  • omar

    yeah, this doesn’t seem that new… and the videos look much more inocuous than the lens flairing, motion blured photos would have you believe.

  • Pony the Trap

    Duuuudeeee. Please. Were you guys paid to post this tripe?

  • ness

    I want one ASAP, where can I get it?


    It looks cool but how do you get it going? On a skateboard you have the stability of 4 wheels, this looks like it could break your shins or you could easily take a bad digger. I bet once you get it going though it’s pretty fun as long as you have a hill to go down. Also it says there is speed control, where is it? Is there a hand brake cable like a mountain board?

  • Christina

    Skateboarding forever!

  • LOW

    that is downright awesome

  • peridotprince

    Achilles tendon? what Achilles tendon? this is RAD!

  • Post

    i find the straight edge prototype version visually much more interesting than the streamlined softwashed design version. that looks like all the other “brand new fun sport experience” carvewakeslideboardridethings in the department stores … is it actually existing in real? you never see that in action…

  • oh my god! amazing!!



  • rek

    There have been versions of this around for over a decade, some pretty much the same as this, others with a foot bar between the wheels, and I’ve even seen one with bicycle-sized wheels. I really love the idea, but it just hasn’t caught on. I have to wonder about braking too, but I’m terrified of not being able to stop if I skateboarded or roller bladed, so I don’t.

  • Looks really fun, but I can´t help myself wondering how you get started and how you get off it. But I imagine some kind of slope and handrail is necessary for the both. It would be cool to see a strett version of this going in some skateboard park or maybe this offroad version going down the Wengen Downhill run at summertime :)

  • nice design and interesting idea

  • I feel like I’ve seen this before… oh yeah, Wheelman’s Bush Pig:


    …in action:


    As The Barenaked Ladies say, “It’s all been done”. :)

  • Brian


    Yes it is old news, yes it looks a bit rickety, yes it WILL definitely do a number on your ankles. However…. how on earth can you ‘kick’ or self propel the device??? tell me…. Is it just a downhill device? A skateboard can be used on downhills or flats. If this is true, this is a redundant product- a very cool one, but redundant. Good school project.


    Hi everybody…I’m the designer of this object!!!
    I present the 360 for the first time in the 2006 in Italy. And I swear it: I never see the wheelman before!!!In the February of the 2007 I won the Volvo Sportsdesign in Munich, and just in this occasion somebody tell to me that it was on the market the same concept whit a motor inside!
    So, people and designers…I’m real sorry. I do that in a good fade…believe me: I never see it before! My job is to crate something new…and not to copy ideas from other people! We are of people and more than 750.000 people are designer… sometimes could happen to have similar ideas.


  • Chris22763

    Where can I buy the 360 ?

  • kelcee15

    ok im about to just go make me one myself if this thing doesnt hurry up and come out