Monday, September 27, 2010

Slow is Fast

Hi there.

Yes, I am here again with yet another cubing related post.

I've been practicing cubing lately (more so than before) and I've made a few breakthroughs.

1. 3x3 average of 5: 20.50 seconds
2. 3x3 average of 5: <20 seconds, but not recorded
3. 5x5 single: 3:12.49

 In case you didn't know (I don't think you do), the 20.50 is nearly 2 seconds faster than my last PB. Furthermore, I usually averaged around 24-25 seconds, and in one day I dropped that to 20-21.

 My secrets? Here's a few things that might help you:
 1. Take a break - as said in the Karate Kid - "Too much of something is bad for you"...or something like that.
 2. Slow is fast - Slowing down for F2L is essential as many people know, but it can be taken throughout the solve. A slower cross helps recognition for the first C/E pair, and smoother/slower turns are faster than choppy/fast turns that are prone to lock-ups
 3. Use a storebought - that's right, use the Rubik's brand cube. Reason? Using such a cube forces you to slow down (to eliminate lockups) and look ahead. It helps. TRY THIS!

 Just a note on turning speed - when I say "slow," I don't mean 1 turn per second. You should still aim for 3 turns per second to get sub-20. Additionally, 3 turns per second means ABSOLUTELY NO PAUSES, including the OLL and PLL stage. This should be even easier for two look, since you can predict the cases before finishing the previous insertion/algorithm etc.

I'll post more frequently and give some reviews. Lately, through my cubing escapades, I've noticed some things that may help you (if you are beginner/intermediate/kinda advanced).

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The V-Cube 5 is Actually Pretty Disappointing

Pretty short post today.

I've been playing with the v5 all week, and I have to say, I'm disappointed.

The outer layer turns are quite subpar, and the inner layers are a bit tight.
I absolutely loathe the stickers as they keep chipping under my nails. This seems to be an issue primarily with the v5 since the 6 and 7 all have nice stickers.

The quality of the plastic is also rather poor with dirtied areas as well as molding imperfections that make the cube look tattered even though it is but a few weeks old.

I understand there is a bit of luck when it comes to purchasing V-Cubes, or any product for that matter, so this is in no way a degradation of the V Cubes company. That being said, I'm terribly unhappy with the V-Cube 5.

Hopefully (and I say that very intentionally), the cube will break in some more. As of right now though, I can't stand looking at a ripped-up, three-week old cube.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Epic is Too Short of a Word to Describe the V-Cubes

I haven't posted recently, and I'm sorry.

I recently got the V-Cube white collection from V-Cubes
I thought I'd do a small (I'll go into detail about each cube later) review on them, so here goes...

V-Cube 5: This was the first cube I opened and I noticed that the cube was covered in lube. I wasn't too surprised since I already heard about this elsewhere. Also, as many have said, the stickers are pretty shoddy. They're made of a cheap material. However, the actual colors are amazing, very similar to a "White Cube Bright Set" of stickers from Cubesmith. The first turn was a bit of a let down; I was unable to perform any finger tricks. However, it's more manageable now that I've done maybe 30 solves on it. Overall a very good cube.

V-Cube 6: What can I say? This cube is amazing. For one, it's the ONLY 6x6 on the market, and furthermore, the turning is quite decent. I expected disastrous turning due to the clicking mechanism. However, I've only had one misalignment and no pops. 6x6, isn't really my best event, so I didn't truly speedsolve with it. Thus, I don't feel qualified to put a verdict on the popping. All I can say is that, I love the V-Cube 6.

V-Cube 7: I expected immaculate turning, however, that is not the case. It locks up far too much in my opinion, and I was a little disappointed. Breaking it in seems to have no effect. However, don't get me wrong, this cube is still quite great. Considering it has 7 layers, the stability of the cube (cuboid) leaves a lot to be desired. The stickers are also quite nice compared to the V-Cube 5. Outside layers are smooth and outer wings are nice. The real issue comes with the inner wing layers. I tried lubing with Maru lube, but to no avail. I'll give it a couple more solves and put a final verdict on the V-Cube 7.

Before I sign off, I'd like to mention the finger tricks I've been using on the V-Cube 5 to compensate for the ready-to-chip stickers. Normally, I would have my fingers parallel to the U face and flick with the tip of my nail. Now, before you say, "Ew, cut your nails," I'd like to defend myself by saying, my nails are as short as I can make them; I have a naturally long nail bed which extends to the end of my finger.

Thus, to turn the faces on the V-Cubes, I've had to have my finger 45 degrees to the U face, and I now flick with the side of my finger. This is EXTREMELY hazardous. It hurts my fingers and makes triggers nearly impossible. Hopefully, the cube(s) will break in in about a week, and I can return to my natural finger tricks.

Again, this was a review comparable to the V-Cube stickers, so expect a more thorough review in the future.

Thanks for reading,