If you need equipment and don't know where to buy it, this is where I have boards made for me (tell em about your skills, weight, goals, etc and they will set you up). Surf shop on the beach, contains everything you need for all ocean sports. Owned by pro surfer Lynn Shell (he actually works there, answers the phone, etc.).
If you need wetsuits, better do it in person in Rhode Island:
you can go downstairs and find any suit for any time of year, try it on, make sure it fits, ask for advice.
Body boarding comes in two forms- beginner and aggressive. Beginners push off the bottom and aggressive paddles out with surfers. Both are fun but the latter is extreme, tiring, and really really fun. You need to obey the surfing rules and you either gotta be in shape, or you gotta get in shape. You can do it all year long with the right wetsuit, and once you start, you will never stop.