Zili Wang’s craze for cubing


Elaine Chan

Zili pops his normal 3 by 3 cube out of his pocket and nonchalantly solves it a few times as he poses for his picture.

Elaine Chan, Staff Writer

The multicolored tiles blur as Zili Wang single-handedly solves his 3-by-3 speed cube while pondering a how many cubes he currently posses.  With only three years of practice, Wang’s expertise in cubing has already well surpassed an impressive 3 by 3 solve time of 8.3 seconds and has blossomed into more more impressive challenges.

Wang’s interest first took root during a stay at his friend junior Tyler Zhu’s house while his mom gave birth to Wang’s younger brother. Zhu, already an amateur cuber at the time, introduced Wang to this activity, and  Wang fell in love with this activity.

“When you learn something as cool as cubing, you want to teach other people,” Zhu said, “[Zili] ended up liking it more than I did”.

Since then, the rubik’s cube has become an indispensable pastime for Wang.  In addition to holding his record time of 8.3 seconds, Wang has a total of fifteen cubes ranging from his largest cube at 8-by-8,  windmill shape changing cubes, and cubes with tiles with cut off corners.  Last year, Wang and Cubing Club attended the Berkeley Cubing Tournament, hosted by Cubing USA.  Although Cubing Club, did not win any awards, Wang said  that the whole experience as an incredible and enlightening learning experience.  

It’s no doubt that Wang brings his cubes everywhere.  At any given moment, Wang retrieves his cube from his hoodie pocket spins away at his drills.

“For me, a rubik’s cube is kind of like a smartphone,” Wang said. “I don’t go anywhere without it.  In public, people take out their smartphone to not be awkward, but I just take out my rubik’s cube.”

Often times as he finds himself a public spectacle as adults and children of all ages look on amusingly.

“People will stare and stuff,” Wang said, “but a lot of children will come up to me, and it’s so cute because I get to talk to them.”

With the basic 3-by-3 long mastered, Wang is now working on challenging his skills in solving the cube blindfolded, one handed, and in the fewest steps.  His most recent endeavor involves singlehandedly solving the cube blindfolded.  

For most of us cubing has either been a childhood memory or untried for challenge, Wang recommends to go ahead and just tackle it straight on.  

“Just solve it,” Wang said. “ Search it up online, it’s really not that hard.  The most fun way is just straight up solving it.”