In the early spring of 2003, a small skateboarding venture was born on the quiet streets of Riverview, New Brunswick. It was called EC4S, short for East Coast Street Styles, and it had a vision that would not only shape the entrepreneurial dreams of its founder but also become a testament to the power of local communities in supporting small and medium businesses.
Ross Smith, the Owner, Project Manager, and Professional Skateboard Instructor behind EC4S, is no stranger to the tight-knit Riverview community. Born and raised in this picturesque corner of Canada, Ross found his passion for skateboarding at the tender age of seven, way back in 1987. He didn’t just embrace skateboarding as a hobby; he turned it into a career that blended his formal education—a Management degree in Recreation with a minor in business from Acadia University—with his love for skateboarding.
Ross’s journey began with a pioneering spirit as he created one of Canada’s first professional skateboard instruction companies, East Coast Street Styles. But as he embarked on this path, a gap in the Maritimes’ skateboarding landscape became evident—there were few formal facilities for skateboarders. Determined to address this need, Ross and his team hit the road, hauling a mobile skatepark from town to town in those early days.
Over the years, EC4S evolved, branching into skatepark design and construction. From wood to precast, and even full concrete skate facilities, they’ve left their mark across the Maritimes. One of their standout projects, The Riverview Indoor Skatepark, found a permanent home when EC4S was entrusted with its management by the town of Riverview. This enduring contract, now approaching its 20-year anniversary in 2024, is a testament to the company’s commitment to its roots.
As they managed the Maritimes’ largest year-round indoor skate park, Ross and his team recognized another gap in the market—a lack of year-round access to quality skateboard equipment. This realization gave birth to Surface Skateshop, Greater Moncton’s longest-running skateboarder-owned skateshop, with 15 years of operation under its belt. Offering the best skateboard equipment, apparel, footwear, accessories, and more, Surface Skateshop operates like a co-op. All proceeds flow back into the skateboard community, funding team sponsorships and organizing a minimum of six events each year. It’s not just a shop; it’s a cornerstone of the local skateboard community.