IT'S ABOUT HAVING FUN SAYS GWL FOURTH GRADER AND COMPETITIVE CUBER
May 4, 2016 -- Twisting and turning the iconic 3-D puzzle, pausing ever so briefly every few seconds to determine his next move, the gentle clicking providing a jerky yet steady rhythm, Parker Trager completes the challenge, this time at the Sea Cliff School playground for Northwordnews, in about 12 seconds. Having gotten his first Rubrik’s Cube when he was five, but solving the puzzle for the first time only a year ago (he remembers the date - April 19, 2015), the Glenwood Landing fourth grader has now joined the competitive world of cubing, entering contests from Massachusetts to Maryland.
“I do it more for fun,- it’s fun competing and meeting others like you,” said Parker, who only joined the cubing circuit this past January when he entered a tournament in Somerset, New Jersey. Now with four under his belt, most recently this past month at Manhasset High School, Parker says he is less nervous competing in the tournaments at which the average age of the competitors is 15 or 16. His time at the Manhasset tournament was 15.3 seconds, nearly 8 seconds less than at the Somerset competition. When practicing, he averages 8.65 seconds.
Parker’s goal, he says, is to set the world record.
The original Rubrik’s cube, Parker explains, is not used in competitions - it can’t be spun fast enough. The competition cubes are designed to be pulled apart and greased.
The tournaments involve 17 events, each a different challenge with a 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, or even 7x7 cube. One of the events requires competitors to solve the puzzle one-handed, and another, which Parker eventually intends to enter, requires competitors to complete the task blindfolded.
“Parker has always been that kind of person that when he likes something, he dives right in,” said his mother, Robbi King.
The first time he solved the cube, Parker explains, was with the help of youtube instructional videos, which he continues to view to hone his skills. But it is through practice and careful study that he is often able to learn new approaches to tackling the puzzle that has proven maddeningly frustrating to the hopelessly impatient.
Parker says that he would love to generate interest in cubing locally and to start a club with the goal of hosting tournaments. Organizing the events, he continues, is a long process, but can bring in people from all over the country.
Ultimately though, for Parker, competitive cubing is “mostly about having fun” and sharing that fun with others.
If you’re interested in joining Parker’s club, or looking for some tips on how to solve the puzzle, contact Parker through his mom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, receive a permanent 5% discount on all purchases of cubes and accessories at the online store TheCubicle.us by using the code NWNParker.
For information about competitive cubing go to the World Cubing Association website at https://www.worldcubeassociation.org/about.
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