I find it impossible not to think of bodyboarding as a children play, cause i do bodyboard at the beach since i can remember getting into the water. The thing is, I never realy bodyboarded seriously, i just take a board and bo into the see and take whitewater to the beach. I started surfing this year, and still bodyboarded some, but just a bit more seriously. I like it. It´s fun to get a wave to the beach so close to the water. It feels faster then surf for me, and as said before, you can do it on almost any conditions, so if there is no surf, you can still catch some waves somehow.
My opinion about the whole discussion is: screw people who dont like bodyboarders. People shouldn't give a damn about what other people think. Of course having tourists all around the waves bothering everyone sucks, just go explain nicely the rules and it should be allright. People have the right to catch waves however they want and the diversity only adds up. If you want to take and inflatable hello Kitty to the beach and catch waves with it, good for you, at least you are happy and not bothering other people!