Slice cucumbers into spears or ¼” chips; set aside
Combine water, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and swirl to make sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Add sliced cucumbers to 2 quart or 3 pint-sized jars; don’t pack them too tightly as you’ll need room for the brine. Add the fresh dill, smashed garlic, and peppercorns to the jars. Finish by adding enough brine to cover the cucumbers. Seal with an airtight lid and store in the refrigerator for about a week before sampling. Pickles need to remain refrigerated and will last 4-6 weeks after that.