Christchurch teen sets new national Rubik’s Cube record

Jasper Murray, 17, broke the New Zealand Rubik’s Cube record on Saturday. Photo: Supplied
Jasper Murray, 17, broke the New Zealand Rubik’s Cube record on Saturday. Photo: Supplied
A recently graduated Cashmere High School student has broken a national Rubik’s Cube record during a competition in Lyttelton.

Jasper Murray, 17, completed a 3x3x3 cube in 4.61 seconds on Saturday, beating the previous record by 0.4 seconds.

Said Christchurch Speedcubers founder Mike Field: “That might not sound like a lot, but at this level it’s actually huge.”

Murray and 45 other competitors gathered at the recreation centre for Lyttelton Spring 2023, an official World Cube Association event.

Excited by his new record, Murray said he did not expect to get it.

“I was getting super tired towards the end of the day, so I was happy I managed it.”

Murray broke a world record last year when he got the fastest average of five pyraminx cube solves.

A pyraminx is a triangle-shaped puzzle cube.

He was the first New Zealander to break a speedcubing world record, averaging 1.66 seconds for his pyraminx solves.

Murray is pleased to be going to the speedcubing nationals in December with a new record.

“Definitely a confidence boost for sure.”

He said practice is the most important thing to get to a high skill level in speedcubing.

“It pays off. You just need to have dedication over a long period of time.”

Field created the Lyttelton Spring competition in 2021 with collaborator Chris Mills. It stands out as a key fixture in the New Zealand speedcubing scene.

“Speedcubing is an awesome hobby as it’s challenging and intriguing, but also one that gives young people access to an incredible community of talented people,” Field said.

Speedcubers from China, India, the Philippines and the United Kingdom, as well as New Zealand participants, showcased their skills across various categories. These ranged from 2x2x2 to 7x7x7 cubes and even blindfolded challenges.

In the majority of events, competitors were ranked on their average time of five solves, discounting their fastest and slowest.

The competition had a mix of seasoned and amateur participants, Field said.

“We love to encourage new competitors, and actually I give a prize for fastest newcomer at competitions I’m involved with to try and keep it competitive at either end of the spectrum.”

Field said speedcubing fans can anticipate more South Island competitions in 2024.

By Dylan Smits