: I am 23 and have been roller skating for 18 years.
Wow. I wish I had started with 5 years! I have been more like 21 when I started.
: Do you skate with stoppers and if so where the hell do you get them from?
You can get Kryptonics stoppers from Starway in Switzerland. I will add a resource page and put their web address there. Maybe you can get them also from Kryptonics directly. Or the folks there can tell you a dealer in or near Vancouver.
: I rely on them for dropping in and climbing out of bowls when I bail and stopping of course. I go through a lot of them and buy used old skates just for the stoppers. Sometimes I use the hardware for other things but I am getting a bigger collection of trashy old skates than I want. Any suggestions?
I don't need stoppers for dropping. I would imagine that there is no coping where you drop and therefore the stoppers are a real help. A roller skating friend of mine has used his stoppers for dropping when he started. But now he has switched to the same technique like me. For me, it works like this: First I put my rear foot at the coping so that it won't roll away (the whole rear skate is on the platform). Then I put the other skate on the coping and let myself drop, lifting the rear foot, so that I won't do a hang-up. Works well and is gentle with the materials.