The Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series is a tag team surfing competition contested by boardriding clubs and run under the popular Surftag format with each club represented by five surfers. In relay style each surfer catches three waves and then returns to the beach to tag their team's next surfer. Heat duration is one hour with four teams contesting each heat, bonus points are on offer for each team's fifth surfer returning to the tag area on the beach. The top two teams from each heat progress to the next round and to add to the excitement every surfer's second wave is worth double points (Powerwave).
The Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series provides a national competition for boardriding clubs to compete against each other and to determine Australia's No.1 Club. The Jim Beam Surftag is Australia's largest team surfing competition and offers a prize pool of over $130,000 in cash and prizes.
The 9 Jim Beam Surftag events are, Surftag Surf Industry Challenge, Surftag Trade Off, Women's Surftag, QLD Surftag, VIC Surftag, WA Surftag, NSW South Surftag, NSW North Surftag and the Australian Surftag Championships.
Past winner's of the Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series are 2001 – Queenscliff, 2002 – Snapper Rocks, 2003 – North Steyne, 2004/05 – Umina, 2006 – Snapper Rocks, 2007 - North Narrabeen, 2008 – North Narrabeen, 2009 - Werri Beach, 2010 - North Narrabeen, 2011 - North Narrabeen, 2012 - LeBa, 2013 - North Narrabeen.
The 2013 series saw North Narrabeen claim their fifth Australian Title narrowly beating Bronte in pumping 3-4 foot conditions at D'BAH. The final came down to the last few minutes with Bronte's fifth surfer Ryan "Whippet" Clarke catching his three waves in quick time and then securing the four bonus points for finishing first, with 90 seconds remaining Bronte had taken the lead but when North Narrabeen's anchor Nathan "Noodles" Webster found a small but punchy inside D'BAH right it was enough to put NN back in the lead and cement North Narrabeen's fifth Australian Title. The NN team included Nathan Hedge, Davey Cathels, Cooper Chapman, Chris Davidson and Nathan Webster.
2012 Australian Champions LeBa finished in third position with last years runners up Snapper Rocks in fourth. Merewether and Queenscliff again fell short of a finals birth being eliminated in the Semi Finals alongside Noosa and D'BAH.
Bronte's Tom Whitaker was awarded the Rhondda Harrison Surfer of the Series Award after he averaged an outstanding 6.23 on every one of his 24 waves he rode throughout the series. Whitaker also posted the highest three wave total in Surftag history during the NSW South Surftag at Werri Beach - 37.47 out of 40. ***Jay Phillips (Snapper Rocks) holds the highest two wave total in Surftag history with a perfect 30 out of 30 which he scored at Greenmount during the 2011 QLD Surftag. (Each surfers second wave is worth double points - Powerwave)
Leading into the Australian Championships Torquay regained the VIC/SA Title as did Margaret River in Western Australia. D'BAH Boardriders claimed their first QLD Title with Merewether finishing ahead of Bondi to win the NSW Title which they had previously won back in 2002.
The 2014 Jim Beam Surftag will get underway in October with over 100 teams entering the series.