Dan Cohen made this post in the speedsolving video section of a simple 7×7 single solve with the ShengShou 7×7. The time of the single solve was 3:17.05, three seconds under the current world record average and four seconds above the single solve world record. I’m not typically someone who is vaguely interested in the 7×7 event but this one sparked my interest simply because the 7×7 Dan is using is not pillowed. Compare these times to his in the wca database, his official single and average is 3:44.xx and 3:57.xx respectively. So if you’re following he got a single time on video 30 seconds under his normal average and uncomfortably close to the world record (uncomfortable if you’re Lin Chen)!
I think this is saying something more. Not just about the new 7×7 and ShengShou’s big cube innovations, but about pillowed vs non-pillowed cubes. This 30s jump for Cohen could easily go to show that pillowed cubes are generally slower. Although it’s a jump with only one firm data point, think to your own experience with non-cubic cubes (weird wording but you get it right?). My experience at competitions with pillowed 3x3s haven’t typically resulted in faster times and the pillowed V-Cube 2×2 wasn’t that much faster for me. The curved sides on the V-Cube 7×7 may feel better in your hands, an experienced cuber just dropping 30s in a solve says something huge, nay, screams it. The 7×7 world record is going to plummet this summer.