70cm mast and J Shapes Cruzer foil, 155cm board. https://www.jshapes.com/
The technique was simple. Hips over the mast. Paddle for the wave. Get a little speed. Slowly raise my upper body to trim the foil and away we go. The sense of feeling the foil and being able to ride was almost immediate. There is no learning curve to using the foil. There is a fair amount of learning curve of dealing with all that in the surf on your guts.
I was hoping to chase down ocean swells and get a long ride. That was never going to happen. I had to be in front of a peak to get enough speed to get up. Catching white water was ok and I would get up on the foil as long as I got in front. If I was behind the wave at all then I would get left behind.
I was using some fairly powerful swim fins and hoped that they would give me a boost in acceleration. Because I had to have my hips centred over the mast the board interfered with my legs and I could not get much of a kick. Wave catching was mostly arm effort. Maybe a smaller freestyle foil board would be easier.
The main problem was that I was at a tidal open beach. If I rode the wave too far I was worried I would run out of depth. The bottom was sandy but that doesn't mean I want to drag my favourite foil over it.
The bigger waves would pitch and close out. They were only a metre or so, but it can hurt doing a face plant into a sandy bottom. In the end the bigger waves were not such problem if I got into them early enough. The foil would accelerate out the front and I could get up and riding without getting munched.
Paddling out through broken waves was surprisingly easy. I was expecting to be risking life and limb trying to paddle through a beach break but the board slid up and over the foam and the foil seemed to keep it stable. Only problem is the contant paddling out through the shore break and repositioning and chasing waves got a bit tiring. There wasn't a lot of time to rest.
In Kai Lenny's latest video shows him surfing a 3'8" board. If I was 40 years younger I think using my freeride foil board for surfing would be quite fun.