I think your suggestion of group practice is an excellent one. Especially for those who have never tried it.
I was introduced to towing in a class last summer. It was started in a unique way: while on land we were each given a tow belt with the line strung all the way out and told to repack it asap. I had never seen a tow belt before, but my instinct was to treat the line as you would a lariat. Or a garden hose. I think it’s sort of like a parachute: you want to pack so it will deploy without tangles, kinks or knots. We did practice tows and handing off to another paddler.
I decided to buy a tow line because when the lake here at home is clear of ice, invariably there are things floating around which had not been brought far enough on shore by the summer people. Last spring I towed a sunfish that had drifted away from it’s beach and it was a challenge using a rope that wasn’t long enough and had no clips.
On Marshall’s recommendation, I bought the North Water Micro Tow Line which I really like because it’s preset for a short 17-foot and long 50-foot tow. I find repacking 50 feet more of a challenge to do well while in my cockpit because I have to deal with a smaller work area, plus a paddle. My practice has been on an inland lake and I’m not sure how well I would handle that in bumpy conditions. Probably worth trying on a really windy, wavy day here at home.
I practiced towing last summer because it was fun. Started out with a runaway beach toy, then a friend using my 14-foot kayak. Beach toy was much easier to tow than the kayak and occupant. Clipping on and off was easy - we had been taught to attach the carabiner so the opening faces up. There’s a U-bolt on the bow of my kayaks but for that tow I clipped on to a perimeter line. Quick release on belt works fine, but I should get it out and practice again to shake out the winter rust.
As I pretty much paddle solo, I’ll carry the tow belt in my day hatch but don’t wear it. If I attend classes or a symposium this summer, I’ll wear it.
I have wondered about the protocol should a kayker need a tow from a motor-powered boat. My inclination would be to use my tow line - but keep the belt on me as that would put me in control of the quick release. Or is this not wise to do?