Fast hands on display at Rubik’s Cube bout

In the time it takes you to read this story, the best Rubik’s Cube solvers could have completed a seriously twisted cube several times over.

Fast hands and quick reflexes were on display at the Dunedin World Cube Association competition event in Green Island.

Yesterday’s event featured about 30 competitors from all over the South Island, Jasper Murray, of Christchurch, winning the event with an average Rubik’s Cube completion time of 7sec.

The Rubik’s Cube, which was invented in the late 1970s and sprang to popularity in the 1980s, has undergone a revival of late, according to event organiser and World Cube Association delegate Alex Asbery.

Adrien Auvray Matyn, 17, of Dunedin, competes in the Otepoti Dunedin winter World Cube...
Adrien Auvray Matyn, 17, of Dunedin, competes in the Otepoti Dunedin winter World Cube Association competition held in Green Island yesterday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
"It kind of exploded during Covid times, when people literally had a lot of time on their hands. It was something you could do at home, by yourself," Mr Asbery said.

"Anyone can do it, as long as you practise."

He knew of competitors practising "more than eight hours a week, easily".

Since he became involved with the association about 10 years ago, it had expanded from one annual competition in Wellington, to competitions held all over the country.

"There’s a great team of people involved in the organisation.

"YouTube is a great resource, and it’s so easy to follow. It’s amazing how much better people can become through practice."

Some competitors had managed within the space of a year to drop their average completion time from 1min to 10sec, Mr Asbery said.

"It’s a really welcoming community — everyone is really supportive."

Mr Asbery acknowledged the Rubik’s Cube was an occasionally frustrating hobby, but said there were various online communities that offered advice and assistance.

"The thing about the Rubik’s Cube community is that there are no bad eggs."

One of the refreshing things about the competition was the fact it was open.

"There’s no divisions for age or gender. Everyone is up against each other."