When starting out, you want a board with enough volume to paddle easily and a small enough wing so it does not breach on takeoff. When I started, I found that moving the mast position as far back as possible created a controllable amount of lift. When you get in the waves for the first time, paddling with confidence and not holding back is key. White wash takeoffs are ideal and leaning forward with most of your weight on the front foot is the easiest way to start.
Great advice jack! Big wings can definitely be overwhelming when learning. One thing that’s really helped me teach people is having them keep the board on the water for the first few waves, just to get the feeling of a foil under their feet and learn how to keep it down. Really dials in the front foot pressure.