Hey everyone! Ashley here, TheCubicle’s social media coordinator.
Today’s topic is the story of how former world record holder and Team Cubicle member Lucas Etter maintained his passion for cubing throughout a truly difficult and trying hardship.
Lucas’s cubing story began in Lexington, Kentucky. Young Lucas got his first taste for cubing when he received a 3x3 puzzle as a gift from his grandparents at the age of 8.
He must have taken to cubing like a fish to water because a year later, Lucas went on to compete at Uldny Open in 2011 for the very first time at the age of 9. He left that day with a 24.11 second solve under his belt. Only 6 months later, Lucas surprisingly cut his time in half with a 13.84 second solve!
Between the ages of 9 to 14, the community saw an incredibly fast-paced and meteoric rise of Lucas Etter. The next 10 competitions saw Lucas improving personal best every time. In 2014, he set the North American 3x3 record average with a time of 7.52 seconds and also the 2x2 world record average with a 1.69. Lucas was breaking records left and right, and the media began to take notice. Lucas became widely known as one of America’s greatest cubing talents, going on to do interviews and shows with a variety of news outlets like NPR and Washington Post.
Lucas didn’t stop in 2014. The next year saw many more accomplishments in Lucas’s cubing career. On November 21st, at River Hill Fall 2015, Lucas broke the 3x3 world record with an incredible 4.90 solve, making him the first person to ever break the 5 second barrier in official competition! That same year, Lucas went on to celebrate his first win at U.S Nationals as 3x3 National Champion. Within this 2-year time frame, Lucas also set the North American Record 4 different times and even beat his PB average with his very first sub-7 result of 6.89 seconds. Worlds 2017 saw Lucas finish on the podium next to Max Park and Nahm Seung Hyuk in one of cubing’s most competitive finals.
Lucas received a lot of traction in the cubing community and even got the attention of cube companies overseas. Famous puzzle manufacturer MoYu began to co-sponsor Lucas with TheCubicle, giving him more opportunities to travel all around the world to compete and pursue his cubing career even further. Lucas was on top of the world, with several awards and titles under his belt and multiple sponsorships! He was doing what he loved and showed no signs of slowing down.
Unfortunately, in March 2018, Lucas announced that he was diagnosed with a joint condition what started off as tendinitis and later progressed to juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. This condition affected his hands and feet, making it painful to even turn a cube let alone solve one as quickly as he did. Lucas made the hard decision to take a break from cubing and focus on his health.
However, this didn’t stop Lucas’s passion for cubing. He still updated his social media with videos, news, and his progress and the community showed him an incredible amount of support and sympathy. He continued to cube the best he could, occasionally posting videos or photos of great solves despite the pain.
October of last year saw a promising glimpse of Lucas’s return. Early in that month, Lucas updated his Facebook with a post detailing a 4.95 second 3x3 solve with 12.71 average turns per second. Lucas, famous for his dexterity and unbeatable turning speed, received many messages of goodwill and speedy recovery. Everyone was super excited to see Lucas regain his touch in cubing.
Following a year-long hiatus, Lucas attended his first competition in a while at Florence Winter 2019. Despite not having competed in over a year, Lucas scored first place in both the 3x3 and 2x2 events. The community welcomed Lucas back with open arms. After all this time, Lucas still has it!
Today, Lucas uploads videos on his Youtube Channel: lucascube, posting Q&A’s, unboxings and a few solves here and there. He even started up his own Instagram page: @thelucascube! We are extremely proud of Lucas for all that he overcame last year and how well he is doing now. His triumphs and perseverance are great testaments to everyone around the world. His story shows that no matter what you are faced with, you can still do what you love and do it well.