It is important to soak your cucumbers before pickling them so you will be able to rehydrate them in the event that they soften from losing water. Cucumbers that are home grown are less likely to lose water during the pickling process than those which are purchased from the store.
Home grown cucumbers tend to be crisper and should be put in ice water rather than boiling water. It is also important to consider the fact that salt water tends to draw out a little bit of the water in cucumbers along with salting sliced cucumbers. You will need to make sure to remove the end tips of the cucumbers that you are pickling before soaking or salting them.