I am Sarthak Masta, you probably know me by now! I started cubing in 2013, around 10 years ago, and I’m glad I did. I got to explore and experience this whole new wonderful community and I’m really grateful for that. When I started out cubing, there weren’t as many resources that were accessible as there are now. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of awesome cubers who used to put out very nice content on YouTube and blogs, but the amount of content was nowhere near what it is now. I made a lot of mistakes in my learning process before, so it took me a lot of time to cross some barriers like sub-1, sub-15, etc. I’ve made this blog so you don’t have to make the same mistakes. So, here are some tips for new cubers which can help you cross your time barriers way faster than you can imagine!
Be Color Neutral As Soon As Possible
Color neutrality is the ability to solve the cube starting from any color. This makes it way more likely to find a good cross-solution because there are 6 different cases to choose from. Being color neutral is way easier during the starting stages of cubing because you don’t have any fixed habits. If you get used to solving only the white cross, it’s going to get way harder for you to switch to being color neutral because of the habit that you have developed of only looking at the white pieces, while filtering out other colors. The earlier you start being color neutral, the easier it will be because the habits haven’t formed properly yet.
Develop The Habit Of Seeing Other Pieces While Moving The Cube
This technique is called looking ahead. I know, it’s very tempting to just turn aggressive when you know what moves to do, but turning fast and then pausing a lot to look at the next case and its pieces, is way worse than just turning slow and moving on to the next case without any pauses. So, try to develop this habit as soon as possible so you don’t get stuck with the habit of turning aggressive with huge pauses.
When You Learn A New Method, You Get Slower First
This tip is really simple and self-explanatory. After learning a new method or new technique like F2L or PLL, your times get worse first. That’s really very logical because it takes time to get used to the method, discover new things, and build new habits. So, if you start getting worse times after learning a better method, do not give up. Be patient. Practicing a lot is going to make you faster over time.
It’s Not Always About The Cube Hardware
If you think that buying the best cube in the market is really going to improve your times by a lot, then you’re probably wrong. Obviously, if you have a cube that doesn’t even turn properly, or is really locky, then switching your cube for a new one would help a lot. But if your cube is already smooth and doesn’t lock up that much, buying a new one isn’t gonna help your times. The hardware only matters when the cube is really not fit for speedsolving. That’s why I recommend buying from trusted places and trusted brands, like cubelelo.com.
Many cubers think that you should only attend competitions if you can win a prize. This isn’t true. Competitions, along with acting as a platform to showcase your skills, also act as a meetup for the cubing community. There are many opportunities to learn things and get faster, you can get tips from faster and more experienced cubers so that you can grow as a speedcuber. There are a lot of opportunities to make cuber friends too!
Use Your Left Hand too
Instead of forming a habit of turning with just your right hand, doing R and U moves, form a habit of being versatile, solve with your left hand as well, and use mirror algorithms. This skill can be helpful in the long run as you won’t have to break your developed habit of only using your right hand, which can be quite hard to do so.
Practice Multiple Events
Even if you have a main event, it’s always good to practice different events. If your main event is 3x3, you can solve a pyraminx or 4x4 when you get bored or frustrated by 3x3. Solving more cubes makes the experience really fun. Even if you cannot get a new cube, you can always attempt to solve the standard 3x3 blindfolded, one-handed, or in the fewest moves possible.
I hope these tips help you in the long run. One last piece of advice I would give is that cubing can get frustrating sometimes, don’t quit! Instead, take breaks and solve different puzzles or do a completely different activity. Learning and getting better can get frustrating sometimes and it’s completely natural! So keep going and happy cubing!
Sarthak Masta is a speedcuber from Raipur. He started cubing in 2013 and now has 9 years of cubing experience. Apart from cubing, Sarthak enjoys making music and singing. He has attended a total of 7 competitions in Raipur and has gotten 10 podiums, with 2 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 4 bronze medals.