Introduction to Speedcubing for Beginners
This guide will give you a small introduction to speedcubing.
If you are new to this sport, you will find out there is a lot of information available.. If you are dazzled about the amount of information, just take it one step at a time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Rubik's Cube?
The Rubik's Cube is a puzzle, invented by Erno Rubik in 1974. In 1980, the Cube was marketed world-wide, and 200 million of them were sold. Here you can see what a Rubik's Cube looks like.
What is speedcubing?
Speedcubing is the art of solving Rubik's Cube (and other twisty puzzles) as fast as possible. I think most people would also say that speedcubing is more than that: Other disciplines, such as one handed cubing or blindfold cubing can also be called "speedcubing".
How can I solve the cube?
If you are a beginner, there are a lot of websites available that will explain how to solve the 3x3x3 cube in an easy way. (**Please note that there are many different ways to solve the cube. Some of these links will describe different methods**) Andy Camann Gilles Roux Joel van Noort Leyan Lo Patrick Kelly Mark Jeays Conrad Rider
How does the notation system work?
The cube has six sides: Front, Back, Left, Right, Upper and Down (F, B, L, R U and D). A single letter represents a clockwise turn of that face. For this, imagine that every side has an image of a clock on it, and a 90 degree clockwise turn has to go in the same direction as that clock. It might take a while to get used to this, because for the B face, from the perspective of the person holding the cube, a clockwise turn looks like a counterclockwise turn in a way... But after using this system for a while, you will get used to it. A single letter followed by a ' represents a counterclockwise turn of that face. A single letter followed by a 2 represents a 180 degree turn of that face. In that case, the direction of the turn doesn't matter. Many cubers use other notation. Further explanation of symbols can be found on the notation page.
My cube is very stiff... What can I do to make it run smoother?
This is a common problem with Rubik's brand cubes. Some cubes will get looser by simply using them very often, but you may need to either adjust or lubricate your cube. Cubes that are built for speed (aka. non-Rubik's brand) allow you to take off the center-caps and fine-tune the tension of the screws and springs. Loosening these tensions will improve turning, but will cause pieces to fly out more often. If you do not have a cube that has this feature, then I suggest you move onto the next step.
Another idea is to lube your cube with silicone spray. You should be careful with this, since some lubricants can cause damage to your cube. WD40 is not a lubricant, and will ruin your cube if you apply it. It is suggested that you read the article on Lubrication, as it mentions some easily-found sources of lubrication.
Making the cube physically smoother requires more effort. One popular method is to sand the pieces and internal mechanism. This can be done by putting the cube in sand, (thus letting multiple grains get trapped in the internal mechanism) and solving the cube multiple times therefore sanding the cube internally. Once the cube has been solved numerous times, the cube must be washed out and cleaned of all sand and cube dust the sand may have left behind. This is a popular remedy when it comes to making a Rubik's brand cube move faster.
If you are still not satisfied with the speed of your cube, it is highly suggested that you find a speed cube online that will allow you to improve your times.
How can I "open"/take apart my cube?
You can turn one of the faces 45 degrees, and try to POP out one of the edge pieces, as shown in this picture: http://www.speedcubing.com/ton/3x3x3_dis.JPG. This may be difficult to do, depending on the cube. You may need a flat-headed screwdriver to create a gap on cubes such as Rubik's brand cubes.
Where can I learn those finger tricks?
There aren't many websites that really have a section about finger tricks. There are some websites with videos that show you how to perform algorithms. A collection of videos found here on the forums. www.cubewhiz.com provides algorithms with videos. This can give you an idea about how to execute certain combinations of moves. www.strangepuzzle.com hosts a lot of speedcubing videos. These videos are really fast, but it can give you some inspiration. After watching all these videos for a while, you will probably start doing your own tricks.
What is the best method for speedsolving the Cube?
I honestly don't know... I wish I knew! I don't really think there is a "best method". I think you should just find a speedcubing method that feels right for you. Below this FAQ, you will find a list of links. Some of them link to popular speedcubing methods. However, before learning an extremely advanced method, I think it's a good idea to first learn a beginners method! The current world record holder uses CFOP, also known as Fridrich.
Where can I buy puzzles?
Many new cube shops have appeared in recent years following the rise in production of speed cubes. These include:
http://thecubicle.us/ - They offer a massive selection of puzzles, and have a reviewing system which allows you to identify which cubes are popular among fellow speed cubers. They offer worldwide shipping, and they also specialize in spare parts, stickers and logos for numerous puzzles.
http://cubezz.com/ - They have extremely competitive prices on all their cubes, and they also offer free shipping. Shipping times can take anywhere from 2 weeks to over a month, however. They tend to be the first to have new cubes once they're released.
http://lightake.com/ - They remain very popular among cubers. However, their pricing and shipping times are not as competitive.
http://www.mefferts.com - They offer many exotic puzzles, however they do not specialize in mainstream speed cubes.
The stickers of my cube are peeling/coming off, how can I solve this problem?
This is a well known problem. Most cubes don't have high quality stickers on them whether they be the wrong colors or the laminate peels off. The best solution to this, by far, is to buy new stickers; Vinyl (PVC) stickers are highly recommended, Cubesmith sells high quality stickers and is used by professional speedcubers worldwide. CubeSmith Making your own stickers takes a lot of time, and you probably won't make stickers as high of quality.
How can I solve higher order cubes? (4x4, 5x5)
You can find a method for the 4x4 here: http://www.speedcubing.com/chris/4-solution.html. The same ideas can be used for solving the 5x5. Another website that deals with higher order cubes can be found here: http://www.bigcubes.com.
How can I solve the F2L quickly with the Fridrich system/method?
The most common answer to this question is to "Slow down and look ahead" essentially that's all there is to it. For more on Fridrich F2L the links below can be especially helpful. Erik A. did a nice video on how he does the F2L slowly, check it out here, it should help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbKvOXE__CM
These two sites basically teach the same thing, but they use different algorithms. http://www.snkenjoi.com/wikicube/index.php...e=Intuitive_F2L http://dougreed.no-ip.org/~doug/f2l/f2l.htm
This site lists all 41 cases. http://www.cubestation.co.uk/cs2/index.php...x3/cfop/f2l/f2l
Where can I see all current official/unofficial records?
All official records (records that are done at an official competition) can be found here: http://www.worldcubeassociation.org/results/index.php
All unofficial records can be found here: http://www.speedcubing.com/records
For more FAQ's, please visit this link (contains general usage FAQ of the forum itself): http://www.speedsolving.com/forum/faq.php
Speedcubing Tips Below is a page containing the most links relating to speedcubing more than any other pages.
This is where you can find information on where to buy puzzles: http://www.speedsolving.com/forum/showthread.php?t=117
Here is a link to the How-To section, which includes various tutorials and guides. Please check it out when you get the chance: http://www.speedsolving.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=18 and here's a link to the wiki page for the popular Layer By Layer beginner's method http://www.speedsolving.com/wiki/index.php/Layer_by_layer