Ep 1 | How I Learned to Solve a Rubik’s Cube while Skydiving

Posted on Posted in How to Learn Anything

More than a year ago, without attempting either in the past, I learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube while skydiving. Three months before attempting the solve, I began the process of learning how to solve the cube, how to solve it in under 60 seconds (on flat ground) and finally, solving it while skydiving. If you’ve watched the mini-doc we made on that experience you have a general idea of how I pulled it off, but never got the nitty gritty as to how completing this was actually possible. This post is for those of you who actually want to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube on flat ground, and eventually… while skydiving.

And if you haven’t seen the doc we made about it yet, check it out below:

 

 


 

Step 1: Learn to Solve a Rubik’s Cube

Tutorial

Cheap Cube

We all know the guy who has spent the past 3 years trying to solve a Rubik’s cube, has only gotten four sides done, and absolutely refuses to look at a tutorial. I have nothing but respect for that guy, especially if he is able to figure it out. That said, if you don’t have 3 years, and want to learn how to solve this in 4-10hrs I would suggest taking a peek at BEGINNERS METHOD.

With beginners method you only need to memorize 7 separate steps (called algorithms), and you can solve a cube. You don’t need to be a genius. You don’t need to practice for years. All you have to do is spend the necessary time to understand, and memorize the 7 steps. You memorize this kind of stuff for breakfast.

This is the tutorial breakfast I used to learn BM.

I found that the most challenging part of mastering BM was understanding the 3D space of the Rubik’s Cube. Once I spent a few hours with my brain in a twist, I was finally able to put a square where I wanted to put it.

If you don’t have a Rubik’s cube, I used cubezz.com. $2.75 a cube, and for what you pay, they are quick, smooth and great to learn on.

6 hours into beginners method.

 

Step 2: Solve the Cube in Under 60 Seconds

Tutorial

Solving a Rubik’s cube is cool, solving it in under a minute is cooler.

Once you’ve mastered solving the cube using beginners method, its now about memorization of the algorythms and getting quicker. I found the best way to do this was to practice in 15-20 min spurts throughout the day when I was waiting in line for stuff or procrastinating. I found it an incredibly satisfying way to avoid editing, and still feel productive.

But, the thing with BM is that you can only go so fast. Due to the number of moves it takes to solve the cube, it is difficult to consistently break 60 seconds no matter how fast your fingers are. From when I first solved the cube, to when I maxed out beginners method, it took about 20hrs.

This is where F2L comes in.

F2L stands for first two layers. Instead of solving layer by layer as in BM, you solve the first two layers at once, greatly cutting down the number of moves required to solve the cube. Personally, it was a real pain in the butt to learn but it was the difference between a 1:30sec average, and a 52sec average. To understand F2L, and get to the point where I could confidently solve the cube using it, took me about 10hrs of practice, 30hrs or so total.

Without F2L | With F2L

This is the tutorial I used to learn F2L.


 

Step 3: Solve the Cube While Skydiving

Funding

If you’ve been following the story thus far, it’s been accessible.  With enough tenacity and time, anyone with at least $5 of excess income, can learn to solve a Rubik’s cube in 52 seconds.

Unfortunately, the six dives it took to accomplish this part of the challenge cost $2,862. Not pocket change. Unless you got a solid income, or a large enough social media following to warrant an undetermined number of skydives for free, its a tough sell. Since I have none of those things, we have friends at Storyhive to thank for making this possible.

If you’re able to find your Storyhive, tons of followers or $3k lying around, can figure out this and can solve a Rubiks cube in under 60 seconds, you’re ready to finally give this a shot.

The Skydive

Before you attempt the jump, you need to find the following:

  1. A Dropzone that is cool with you doing this.
  2. A Dropzone that allows AT LEAST 60 seconds of free fall. Sometimes they advertise it, but its actually 50-55 sec. Not noticeable when you’re skydiving, but very noticeable when you’re trying to do it with a cube. It took us a few tries, but we were eventually able to find one.

 

Weird that the tennis balls didn’t help.

 

 

As far as actually prepping for the dive goes,  though the go-karting, tennis ball and underwater solving were all visually interesting, I’m 99% certain that it didn’t really impact the result of the jump. Unless you can find an ultra high powered fan to practice in, I’d suggest spending your time getting faster, or learning the OLL and PLL methods.

 


Takeaways

Solving a Rubik’s cube while skydiving is super hard. To pull something like this off requires incredible focus, dedication, persistence, lots of money and a very nice dropzone. I managed to pull this off, not because I am more dedicated or focused than the average person, but because I had a powerful incentive motivating me to solve the cube. Would I have put the hours in if I wasn’t videoing it? Would I have jumped six times if I didn’t think solving this had career changing potential? Probably not.

This is not to say that you can’t learn how to do this, I’m actually saying the opposite. Once you begin to create incentive around what you want to do or learn, learning becomes incredibly easy. Want to solve a Rubik’s cube while skydiving? Figure out what motivates you, create a deadline around your goal and accountability around that deadline. Once you do that, learning becomes easy.

 

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