Jim Menges started playing beach volleyball in 1968 at Santa Monica's Sorrento Beach. He went to the beach with a group of friends and they all learned by watching the greats, such as Von Hagen and Lang. He started playing on the "outside courts", and graduated to the "first court", playing with Tom Chamales, Greg Lee and Randy Niles. His first "Open" win came at the 1973 Marine Open, with Greg Lee.
On the 1974 beach volleyball circuit, Menges advanced to the finals of 4 events, winning 2 times, once with Chamales and once with Ron Von Hagen. In 1975, He reached the finals of 10 events, all with Lee, winning all but one. In 1976, Menges advanced to the finals at 8 events, winning 7 with Lee and 1 with Dennis Hare. On the 1977 tour, he advanced to the finals 11 times, winning all but one. In 1978 and 1979, Menges reached 12 finals, winning 8 events.
On the 1980 beach volleyball circuit, Menges advanced to the finals of 8 events, winning 3 times. In 1981 and 1982, he reached 6 finals, winning 4 times, including his last championship win at the 1982 Mission Beach Open.
From 1973-1982, Menges and Lee played in 30 tournaments, winning 25, finishing second three times and third twice. They were never out of the top three. Menges teamed-up with Matt Gage for 17 events, winning eight of them. This team was also in the finals of every tournament that they entered together. Menges enjoyed success with all of his partners through 1982, winning with Chris Marlowe 5 times and winning one time with Ron Von Hagen, Tom Chamales, Gary Hooper, Sinjin Smith, Randy Stoklos, and Jon Stevenson.
When asked what he liked about beach volleyball, Menges said: "The competition and being outside at the beach getting great exercise. I enjoyed playing tournaments to compete with others and to see who was the best". Menges added that his favorite partner was Greg Lee.
Menges said that some of his best beach volleyball memories included: "#1 winning the first World Championships at Santa Monica's State Beach with Greg Lee in 1975. This was the first big money tournament that we won together. We split $2,500.00. #2 winning 5 Manhattan Openís was something I'm proud of, because everyone wanted to win that one. #3 winning my first Open at the Marine Open with Greg Lee in 1973, beating Lang and Von Hagen. #4 winning the Hermosa Open with Matt Gage. We got a free pitcher of beer at the Poop Deck and a frozen yogurt."
In 1991, Menges tried to make a comeback on the AVP Tour, but after a ninth place best in 12 tournaments he retired from competition for good.
During the late 1990's and 2000, Menges was involved in coaching beach volleyball players. He is currently coaching Jose Loiola, and Emanuel Rego. Menges helped this team become the first team to qualify for the 2000 Sydney Australia Olympiad. Menges has also served as Tournament Director for the AVP Tour.
During his career, Menges entered 75 "Open" tournaments, advancing to the finals 62 times, winning 48 events. His career earnings, for playing beach volleyball, was less than $10,000.00, until in 2005, Menges participated in the first annual Karch Kiraly 4-Man Legends Classic, where he won his largest tournament check ever and surpassed the $10,000.00 mark.