PHOTOS: Titans of Mavericks big wave surf competition 2016
"I'm over the moon," Lamb said after climbing aboard a chase boat following the competition on the water. "Any time this wave breaks, it is life or death, man versus nature, Mount Everest meets Niagara Falls."
Lamb grew up in Santa Cruz, and surfed Mavericks growing up. He now lives in Venice Beach.
The waves weren't as big as past competitions, but grew steadily from 15 feet to 30 feet throughout the afternoon. Mavericks is called one of the most hazardous sporting events in the world, and several surfers suffered spectacular wipeouts, including one of the pre-contest favorites Ken "Skindog" Collins.
Travis Payne of Pacifica, California, finished second and Greg Long of Santa Cruz finished third.
Long, who won the event in 2009, also took home $10,000 for the "boldest drop" award, which is given for the most spectacular ride of the day.
James Mitchell won $5,000 for the day's best ride in the "barrel."
The 24 contestants, from all around the world, were given 48 hours to get to Half Moon Bay. Last year the call was never made to run the contest because the waves were never big enough. This season, though, that hasn't been a problem.
"It's great to be back, especially since it's an El Nino year. We knew it would have to happen eventually but it was just plagued by this strong south wind over the last month or so and it was good to see that finally let up and give us a chance," said surfer Mark Healey.
The event no long allows spectators on the beach or the bluff after 13 people were injured in 2010's tournament by a rogue wave.