Look upon the works of Auldin Maxwell, ye woodblock builders, and despair. On November 29th 2020, the 12-year-old British Columbia resident broke the Guinness World Record for most Jenga blocks stacked on one vertical block.
The category is one attempted by many bored party-goers and primary school students, but Maxwell’s 693-block balancing feat comes on the back of diligent practice and dedication to form. A Guinness report on the successful stack says he “has wanted to earn a Guinness World Records title since he was six years old and has been balancing and stacking objects for as long as he can remember”.
His successful attempt, enshrined on video, starts with a single block placed vertically on a wooden board in what seems to be the Maxwell family’s home. Working with so little surface area seems a cruel device for young challengers. Then again, nobody in the Dicebreaker office holds a Guinness World Record in any category. Maxwell proceeds to employ a number of block-stacking strategies to first strengthen the base of his precarious structure and then widen the horizontal plane substantially. Two or three rows will follow a log cabin criss-cross pattern before switching to a spoke-and wheel approach.
Again, we can only guess at the mastery on display in the young boy’s placement, but in short order Maxwell scoots another stack of blocks forward and assumes a relaxed position on the floor to methodically expand his towering construction. He completes his labours with the help of a parent and a folding table once the ballooning building starts reaching shoulder height. Only once does he restabilise the middle of what at the end resembles an artist’s rendition of shawarma using wood.
After measuring the resulting tower Maxwell sets up two Guinness World Records books and delivers a poetic end by tipping them into the Jenga highrise, domino-style. In total, it took him 13 Jenga sets and just over an hour to earn the record, according to Global News. Maxwell seized the record from the previous holder, who managed a mere 485 blocks back in June of 2020.