By Luke Kenton
This barmy YouTuber set himself the challenge of learning to solve a Rubik’s cube in under 30 seconds in just two months — Oh, and then attempting to solve it while skydiving out of a plane.
Having never attempting to crack the infamous combination puzzle before, Stephen Robertson, from the YouTube channel ‘52skillz’, set himself the daunting task of trying to master the Rubik’s cube in just 60 days, before stepping out of a plane at 14,000ft and trying to solve it during freefall.
Picking up the 3-D puzzle for the very first time, Stephen, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, is left instantly frustrated by the cube’s complexity, crying out, ‘There’s so much memorization’ in despair, realizing a long couple of months lie ahead.
After several weeks and a number of interesting methods of practice – from solving the cube underwater, to on-stage at a rock concert – Stephen was finally able to master the cube in under a minute, with his personal best standing at an impressive 36 seconds.
Stating he was as ready as he’d ever be for the crazy challenge, Stephen’s ‘jump day’ quickly came around, and stepping out of the plane’s hatch clutching the cube, the Vlogger came incredibly close to completing it on his first jump.
Just a few key moves away, Stephen was left frustrated when the chute was pulled too early, and following four more unsuccessful attempts, he wondered whether it would ever be done.
On his sixth and final jump of the day, amazingly, the 22-year-old manages to solve the cube without a hitch, causing him to scream out several times in utter elation.
Stephen said: “As part of my YouTube channel, once a month I’ll sit down and think about some of the different skills I want to learn in the future, and I combine them with something ridiculous.
“I’ve always had a desire to [solve a Rubik’s cube], so I figured committing to solving one while skydiving would be a good way to hold me accountable to actually learning to do it.
“It was tough at first, but once I could solve it without the tutorial, it would take me about 10 minutes to complete it.
“Eventually, though, I hit a wall and couldn’t seem to get it under the one-minute-thirty mark.
“I enlisted the help of a cubing expert, who can solve it in under ten seconds, and soon enough I managed to hit my target of less than 60 seconds.
“Having never skydived before, I was worried about jumping out of the plane.
“Interestingly, though, as soon as I stepped out of the plane, all the nerves disappeared; I was so focused on the cube I had no idea what was going on around me.
“The instructor said I’m probably the only person to ever skydive six times and still have no idea what it feels like.
“We had five jumps in the budget, and after failing on the fifth, we dug into our own pockets to fund the final attempt.
“When I managed to solve it on the sixth go, it was like lifting a train off of my shoulders, I exploded with pure joy – it’s pretty hard to compete with a feeling like that.
“It was a lot of work, but the average person can solve a Rubik’s cube in under 60 seconds, I’m the proof of that.”
Filmed between May and July of last year, but recently uploaded to YouTube, this challenge is the first of six episodes in 52Skillz’s new series, ‘How to Learn Anything’.
Stephen said: “52Skillz is a YouTube channel about learning new skills combine with something crazy.
“I will learn anything from pole dancing, to building a full-sized remote control car and taking it off a jump – it’s such a blast.”
To subscribe to Stephen’s YouTube channel, 52Skillz, click HERE.