Wave energy collected by the power take-off system of a Wave Energy Converter (WEC) is highly fluctuating due to the wave characteristics. Therefore, an energy storage system is generally needed to absorb the energy fluctuation to provide a smooth electrical energy generation. This paper focuses on the design optimization of a Hydraulic Energy Storage and Conversion (HESC) system for WECs. The structure of the HESC system and the mathematical models of its key components are presented. A case study and design example of a HESC system with appropriate control strategy is provided. The determination of the ratings of the HESC system is also investigated in order to achieve optimal system energy efficiency.