For many, solving a Rubik's Cube is an impossible challenge, but for the competitors at the World Cubing Association's 2023 Saskatchewan Open, completing the challenging puzzle as quickly as possible is a passion.
Around 80 competitors spent Saturday whirling their cubes at the Royal Canadian Air Force's Astra Hall in Saskatoon. It was Saskatchewan's first official Rubik's Cube competition.
For 23 cubers, the Saskatchewan Open was their first competition.
Laura Plourd, one of the organizers of the Saskatchewan Open, says there was a demand for a tournament in the province.
"Our main hubs are in Alberta and Manitoba for a few years now and we've been getting questions on when this is coming to Saskatchewan," Plourd said on CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.
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Saskatchewan speedcubers have been traveling hundreds of kilometres to Manitoba and Alberta for the nearest competitions.
Shane Power solved his first Rubik's Cube during the pandemic. He says it's become a fun hobby for himself.
"It helps get your hands moving, you learn stuff, make lots of new friends, it's really nice for your social skills and physical skills," Power said. "I just really like it."
Shane Power, who was born in Saskatchewan, competed at the Saskatchewan Open. It was his second speedcubing competition but he says it won't be his last. (Radio-Canada)
Competing at the Saskatchewan Open was extra special for Power because he was born in the province. It was Power's second competition, but he says it won't be his last.
Dylan Vaskevicius has competed at around 25 speedcubing competitions. He solved a Rubik's Cube in 7.33 seconds at home and 8. 47 in a competition.
Other than trying to beat personal best times, he likes the social aspect of the competition.
"The community with speedcubing is really, really supportive and like we're always cheering each other on," Vaskevicius said. "So it helps keep you involved in the activity a lot."
Vaskevicius hopes to compete at the World Cube Association World Championships in Seattle in 2025.
Dylan Vaskevicius has competed at around 25 speedcubing competitions. He hopes to compete at the world championships in Seattle in 2025. (Radio-Canada)
Plourd says the only secret to becoming a good speedcuber is practice.
"You know the people who do it in five seconds, they've been practicing for over five years already, " Plourd said. "It's not something that happens instantly. It's not something that happens quickly. You have to put the time and effort into it."
Plourd says the aspect of never being able to solve a Rubik's Cube the same way twice makes solving them so special. She is happy to see the competitors have the same love she does speedcubing.
"I hope everyone sees there is a demand in Saskatchewan and that we get to come back a few times a year," Plourd said. "I hope to have some in other cities in Saskatchewan as well and just keep the community growing."