Any other type of kite flying! Being able to control the kite very well and feel where it's at lets you concetrate on board skills.
I second that - it's how I started and although I struggled a bit the first few sessions getting some board skills together (started with zero), I crashed the kite maybe twice (both in my first lesson) and once I got the board to stay under my feet I progressed rapidly (perhaps because I was spending so little time relaunching) - now well ahead of guys who came in with just board skills, although they did a little better in the first few sessions.
But I also agree that dedication is probably the biggest factor - never get past the newbie phase if you only come out 2-3 times a year...
I'd be interested in knowing how many people get the basic lessons and buy some gear and then never really get going because they don't get out enough.