Zav paddles are highly praised by nearly everyone who makes the commitment to buy one (I know a couple of folks who don't care for them) so you probably couldn't go wrong with a ZRE if it is in your budget.
On the other hand, since you have not canoed for a while and really don't know your preference at this point, it probably makes sense to take Terry's advice and buy some used paddles when you find them at a good price.
There are a lot of factors that go into paddle choice apart from overall length, material, and whether it is a straight or a bent. You might find you have a preference for a T-grip as opposed to a palm grip, or vice versa, if it is a straight paddle you might prefer a symmetrical blade and grip that allows either face to be used as the power face, or you might prefer a dedicated power face. If you chose a bent shaft you may find that a particular angle suits best. And then there is blade shape and size.
Some elements can be customized by the buyer of high-end paddles like ZRE's such as blade angle, blade width, etc. So if you can experiment with a few different models before you shell out $500 or so it might be to your advantage. If you buy a decent paddle at a good price you will probably be able to sell it again at little or no loss if it doesn't suit.
Paddler's Truck Rack
Heel and Pegpads™
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