What is speed cubing?

What is speed cubing?

Speed cubing is the activity of solving a Rubik’s Cube or similar puzzle in as little time as possible. Fascinatingly enough, people who speed cube can not only solve a Rubik’s cube but they can solve it in lightning speed. You might know people who can solve a Rubik’s cube or you yourself were able to solve one. They joke and say they’ve solved it in a year, a month, or maybe 10 minutes or 5 minutes? Speed cubers can solve a Rubik’s cube in as fast as 6 seconds. Yep that’s right, the current official world record for solving a 3x3x3 Rubik’s cube is… are you ready? 5.55 Seconds!

Seems impossible huh? Well check out this video of Mats Valk achieving the 5.55 second world record.

So, how the heck can this guy solve it that fast? Well, solving a Rubik’s does have a method and once somebody learns this method he or she can solve the Rubik’s cube from any possible jumbled state. This method is called the layer-by-layer method or simply the beginners method and require you to learn a few combinations of layer turns and moves called algorithms. Although to solve a Rubik’s cube in under 20 seconds, a more complex method is needed called the Fridrich method where around 200 algorithms are required, crazy huh?

Special Rubik’s Cubes

Collection of speedcubes

Solving a Rubik’s cube in under 20 seconds doesn’t entirely rely on the method. If you owned a Rubik’s cube or have tried one you probably know how hard and rough it is to turn each layer. Speed cubers use certain Rubik’s Cubes categorized as “speed cubes” to achieve fast solves. Speed cubes have layers which turn super smoothly with very little effort. Check out the best speed cubes.


Speed Cubing Competitions

So, whats the point? Well, as with other activites once you’ve overcome the challenge of completing something, you probably want to see if you can do it faster. This is exaclty what speed cubers are doing. Speed cubers put in so much time and practice in getting faster to actually compete in official tournaments held by the WCA or the world cube association. That’s right, speed cubing is actually a sport. WCA tournaments and competitions are held world wide, with events from the simple 2x2x2 cube all the way to 7x7x7 cube!! The crazyness doesn’t stop there, there is even a blindfold event!! The recent World Cube Championship 2013 was held in Las Vegas Nevada where Feliks Zemdegs of Australia took home first place and a whopping $3,000.

You might think speed cubing is absolutely ridiculous or maybe you think it is actually pretty interesting, hopefully the latter. But the next time you see a Rubik’s Cube you won’t see an impossible colorful toy that is pointless but think that it is an instrument of sport called speed cubing.

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