Rosamund my brother is an avid SD body boarder and I'll ask him for some suggestions.
There are dozens of breaks south of LA that are good for body boarding, but as above, it will depend on the conditions. Summer isn't really the best time for big surf, but unless you are coming from a good surfing spot already there will be enough to entertain them.
And lljkk we really have to stop meeting on these SoCal threads....
No, I'm slightly giving up, there's too much info & too hard for me to summarise. Just check this out, for instance.
But I'll go back to suggesting the strip between Mission Beach & Pacific Beach as a good bet, and Hamel's is a good bet for buying/borrowing equipment, very set up for tourists. You can ring Hamel's and just ask "How is the surf forecast today/tomorrow on Mission Beach for beginner Body Boarders" and they will give you honest opinions. Suggest where else to go, too.
My dad lives on one of them, lol. I'm not a surfer so hesitate a bit to overly characterise, but surfing is big in SD. We even get morning , surf reports (like weather reports, temp, wave height etc.) on all the youth-music radio stations, describing the conditions at each beach. That's because the swell varies a lot depending on things like wind / sea temp / tides so I can't promise which beach would have smaller or bigger swell when you happen to be there. Probably any of them would do for you.
Pacific Beach is usually thought better for surf, though, probably just go to beach end of Garnet & look around. Black's beach is best surfer's beach many say, but not easy to reach. Mission beach would be adequate.
Sorry I only know SD, don't know others, but Google will find them for you.
Have been reading all the California threads with great interest as we are off there this summer.
Have some bits planned but still need to work out part of our itinerary. Our two DC are keen bodyboarders but not yet ready for full on surfing. Does anyone know which beaches would be best to think of for this, and where we might be able to hire boards?
Looking at fitting this in during time in LA or SD areas - or could stop off at Huntigton/Laguna or wherever if these sound like they will work. We just don't want to end up on a beautiful beach with surf that's too big and scary for us!
Do any of the beaches in San Diego area catch any big enough swell for this?