We have had about 30 different beginners on Fliteboards in our testing. The larger cruiser wing we have developed makes a big difference. Having a wing optimised for slow take-off speed is important as often people are scared to ride fast enough to be able to foil. Board volume is another important consideration. If a rider can kneel or stand it takes away a couple of steps and helps them get going faster. Certainly we have found that lighter riders find it easier, and this is due to a combination of more volume and more lift relative to their weight. Slower take-off speed required and also less inputs from a lighter rider. Another really important consideration is the hand controller. Balancing the throttle while trying to foil for the first time is challenging, and even experienced foilers will find a sticky throttle an added challenge to balancing. We have a solution for that with a very smooth throttle, but also algorithms and settings (with safety features) that act a little like cruise control so the rider can focus on balancing the foil. In terms of how accessible it is, it varies on the rider. We have had experienced (and brave) watersports enthusiasts foiling within 5 minutes. We have had semi-pro surfers struggle to foil (usually because they think they can do it with sheer balance, rather than trusting the foil and taking time). The typical scenario is probably 5-10 minutes getting used to throttle and positioning weight on the board. 5-10 minutes developing these skills on knees. Then standing up and rising fast on the board with weight forward but not foiling. Followed by starting to foil at a low height with touch downs. it typically takes 2-3 40 minute sessions for people to really get it. My 12 year old son learned to foil in 2 x 20 minute sessions without much in the way of crashes because he is so light.
When you consider to learning to ski, snowboard, play tennis, windsurf or drive a car - is actually pretty good. Learning to foil on waves or with a kite is a totally different ball game. I think it took me about 20 hours to learn to kite foil 5 + years ago.
People will crash, get wet and there is always a risk that people fall on the board or foil, so they need to be prepared for this and be taught properly. We have a Flite School program that you can see on our site here https://eu.fliteboard.com/flite-school/ that might be of interest. Our inflatable AIR board has been designed specifically for this purpose.