-- Last Updated: Aug-06-10 6:40 AM EST --
it's always good to get some self rescues practice in every season. Summer is a good time given warmth of water.
I practice in the ocean, before and/or after going out for my trip. I usually practice with whatever equipment I use for fishing (especially if it's secured, e.g. milk crate, rod holders, etc) on the boat. This is the only way to find out if these are in the way in a self rescue. For example, I can roll my SOT (with thigh straps) when the fishing rods are not on board and leashed to the rod holders (just to the back and side of me). But, when the leashed rods are there, they are in the way of a paddle sweep. On a re-entry scramble, these are not in the way (the rods are dangling at the side of the boat).
My Scupper Pros came with no perimeter lines or side handles. I add these because to allow, first, the ability to hang on to the boat on a capsize and, secondly, to help flip the boat back over (especially the side handles - I am small so I like to scamble on top of the hull, grab the far side handle, slide back into the water while pulling the boat right side back up).
Go practice. Don't assume you can do it when you need to self rescue for real.