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How to Speed Cube Blindfolded

If you have mastered a particular speed cube then doing it blindfolded could be a way of extending your interest in that speed cube and maybe help you improve further as a speedcuber particularly when it comes to your memory. Blindfolded speedcubing is when a person doesn't look at the speed cube when they physically manoeuvre and twist it whilst they are solving it but can look at and memorize how the puzzle is jumbled up before they start manoeuvring and twisting it. For an absolute novice who is new to speedcubing, doing it blindfolded would not be recommendable as this person would have so much to learn before they could even be in a position to do this and it, therefore, would be a pretty fruitless and unenjoyable experience. If you have mastered a particular speed cube with sight and can do it automatically without thinking it will show how reliant you have been on your vision when you try it blindfolded. Blindfolded does usually mean with a blindfold but could be done by switching off the light in pitch-black darkness or just closing the eyes whilst practising by yourself but in a tournament, a blindfold would be expected. You may be surprised to know a lot of people already do this activity so it should be relatively easy to find people to discuss it with or share the experience with as this could make it even more fun to get into. The key aspect of blindfolded speedcubing is to be able to memorize the configuration of the speed cube when it has been jumbled up because if you get this most important first step wrong then the rest will be impossible and become unsolvable until you can see again. This will feel when first blindfolded a completely different activity but you will still be doing pretty much what you did before with sight and the speed cubes skills and experience you already have will still be important and used. The shape of the speed cube and the individual pieces can be felt which will help you with manoeuvring it and keeping track of what you are doing without sight and it is only the colours that cannot be felt. A kind of comparison might be typing on a keyboard in that learning to speed cube blindfolded would be like learning to touch type and not looking at the keyboard anymore but in this scenario, you do still look at the screen which helps to know if you are typing anything wrong as you do it whilst blindfolded speedcubing you will not know for sure if you are successful until the end and the blindfold removed. You will have to visualize the speed cube in your mind and the moves you are about to make whilst manoeuvring it without sight which at first can be overwhelming but just requires practice and patience. This is an activity you will very unlikely pick up straight away and it will take plenty of mistakes and do-overs to get the hang of. In the beginning, it will be very frustrating as there will be a constant urge to see how you are doing and you will sometimes have to at certain points cheat and check on your progress if you feel you have made a mistake to know for sure where you went wrong. Blindfolded speedcubing doesn't actually require any extra equipment from normal speedcubing when practising as you can just simply close your eyes or pull your jumper or shirt over your face in order not to see. However, when doing this in any sort of competition a blindfold would be required and possibly earmuffs/headphones but these would not be necessary when practising as you would only be cheating yourself. The simpler speed cubes like the 3x3x3 Pyraminx or the 3x3x3 Rubik's cube which are starting points for many to normal speedcubing will also be good and smart entry points to the niche of blindfolded speedcubing. Picking a speed cube that you are very familiar with to start with and that you find easy to solve is important because you don't want to make blindfolded speedcubing more difficult than it will already be. There are plenty of tutorials as it is a quite popular hobby and sport to help beginners on various websites and on youtube that will give step by step guidance and after watching or reading these should make the challenge seem less daunting. At first, it will be just about solving the speed cube successfully without sight and then once this is achieved about speed and beating personal best times. These times will be very slow at the beginning as you will have to be very deliberate with the moves you make because you can't see to ensure you don't accidentally twist the wrong part and there will likely be many unsuccessful attempts before you get the hang of it. I would be sat down for this whilst at first as standing up can be disorientating when you can't see and this is how it is usually done in a competition anyway but can be done standing up as well. Get somebody else to jumble up the speed cube if you can so you have absolutely no idea what you are about to face and get them to pick a speed cube at random as well from the ones that you can already do blindfolded to further test you. Setting the timer when doing blindfolded speedcubing won't be an issue if you use a speed cube timer mat that is also used in competition as well but if you don't have one then a touch phone could also work or get someone to time you with a stopwatch. The clock must be started before you look at the configuration of the speed cube you are going to solve which can be done with sight with the eyes covered once you start manoeuvring the pieces of the speed cube to solve it and then the timer is stopped once the speed cube is solved and you can then see again. The toughest part of blindfolded speedcubing is memorizing the moves for the different scenarios or configurations you will face and if memorizing isn't fun for you then this will be a struggle but the reward of putting what you memorized successfully into practice can make it worth it. Watching other speedcubers do speedcubing blindfolded on youtube can be good for motivation when you are struggling as it shows it can be done especially if you see plenty of people that have done it and they have all different levels of ability. New techniques and methods can be learnt as some will have their own way of going about doing it in general and for specific speed cubes and these techniques and methods may work for you. You can also see the best in the world at this activity and world records being broken showing what is possible at the absolute elite level and what you could one day aspire to if you are talented enough. You may have to slow down some of the videos to be able to see what they are doing as they operate at rapid speed with some solved in the blink of an eye in a matter of a few seconds. Ultimately though it will be what works for you not what works for other people and this will involve plenty of trial and error of different techniques and methods until you find what you are comfortable with or what achieves the best times. Blindfold speedcubing will usually be part of many speedcubing competitions or categories taking place within the same event that will have competitions with and without a blindfold. Competitive events are for those who like competing with other people and for when you have got the hang of blindfold speedcubing and are posting really fast times that are close to the times you would see on youtube videos of blindfolded speedcubing competitions. You could just go for the spectator experience in order to watch up close hopefully high-level speedcubers in person do it if you are not ready for competition and would be a place to observe, learn and ask questions. It could be an idea to have a go any way at a competitive event even if you feel you are not ready as the competition and training for it may raise your level and you exceed your own expectations and can post a competitive time. Finding an event to take part in would best be done online through a search engine or by asking other speedcubers through a forum or social media and it will depend on where in the world you live as to how many there are of these events or if there is one at all. If you can't find a tournament then you could set up your own tournament if you know people who would compete or try your luck and hope some people will answer your advertisement. The speed cube configuration that you will attempt to solve in a tournament is hidden and kept secret beforehand so the first time you will see what needs solving is when you start the timer and remove what is concealing the speed cube from view. There will then be a period in which you memorise the configuration of the speed cube that you are to solve which is done without the blindfold after the clock is started and the faster you can memorize the configuration the quicker your time will be as this period contributes to your overall time. Then the blindfold is put on once you have memorized the configuration of the speed cube and then the manoeuvring of the speed cube can begin with a judge observing the whole time to ensure no cheating and they will put a sheet that can't be seen through in front of you between the speed cube and your face to completely ensure you can't see the speed cube when you start manoeuvring it. Once solved you release the speed cube from your hands and then you must stop the timer immediately after this action to get the time as low as possible as fractions of a second can determine these competitions. Tournaments and events do take place all around the world from Europe to Asia so it is a global hobby/sport which by participating could even take you to new places or places you never thought you would visit. The advantages of speedcubing blindfolded are it might help you to better tune out any outside distractions when in complete darkness with just the puzzle at hand than when you do it with sight. If you can do it blindfolded then you might be able afterwards to do it even quicker when you do it with sight and therefore your overall speedcubing level will have improved. By concentrating on other speedcubing skills that are not visual ones these nonvisual skills may improve significantly such as hand movements and particularly memory. Blindfolded speedcubing is more impressive to show others than just normal speedcubing and can be even impressive to other speedcubers if properly mastered. Doing it blindfolded extends the interest in a speed cube if you already mastered it with vision and will test you in new ways that will make the speed cube fresh and exciting again. The difficulties of blindfold speedcubing are it can feel unnatural and frustrating in the beginning as there will be a constant urge to open your eyes or remove the blindfold to look but after a while of getting used to it and improving at it, this feeling should start to subside. Manoeuvring a speed cube without being able to see can be tricky especially when done at speed or attempting those that have more individual pieces and this can require plenty of practice and repetition before you can do it without mistakes and rapidly. The most difficult element of blindfold speedcubing though is the memorising that is involved in which you have to memorize how the speed cube has been jumbled up which gets more difficult the more individual pieces the speed cube has and you will have to be able to memorize this quickly in order to achieve fast times as this period counts towards your time. When you have memorized the configuration to be solved and you have decided how you are going to approach it the blindfold goes on and there is no going back so this period of memorizing and deciding how to go about solving the speed cube is the crucial and most intense part. You will need to memorize the algorithms, that solve the speed cube, which are specific to blindfold speedcubing and these will have to be trialled initially with sight to ensure they work and then without sight until they are ingrained in your memory and can easily be called upon and therefore done automatically for speed. Knowing if you have done a speed cube successfully blindfolded or not will only be confirmed when taking off the blindfold and you will have to work out then at what point it went wrong if it did go wrong so might be worth videoing it or having somebody watch you to inform you when it went wrong. The distraction of noise can be even greater when vision is eliminated so it might be an idea to find somewhere quiet to do this activity or put headphones on and play music to cancel out any distracting noise. Different speed cubes have different levels of difficulty determined by the number of individual pieces and the shape and it will be best to work your way up to these more difficult ones to avoid being overwhelmed and giving up. In summary, blindfolded speedcubing is a hobby/sport for those who have pretty much-mastered speed cubes with vision and are looking for the next speed cube challenge or perhaps for those who like memory challenges which can be tricky itself to master but also a lot of fun and an impressive feat.



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